Team GB have named their first athletes for the Winter Olympics at Beijing 2022 - with curlers Bruce Mouat and Jen Dodds leading the challenge.
Mouat will skip the in-form men’s team and also compete in the mixed event with Dodds, having won the World Championship with her earlier this year.
The women’s team, with Eve Muirhead as its skip, is yet to qualify for the Games - but they will hope to earn a quota spot at an event in December.
Mouat and Dodds claim World Curling Mixed Doubles gold in Aberdeen
Mouat has built a rink which has become one the most formidable in the world. First formed in 2017, they won silver at the Worlds in Calgary and then achieved an unprecedented double when they claimed back-to-back Grand Slam titles in Canada.
He will be joined by Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie and Hammy McMillan, with Ross Whyte - who skips a rival team - travelling as an alternate, as he has done throughout major events this season. All six of the athletes selected will be making their Olympic debut.
The mixed doubles was brought into the Olympic programme for the first time at Pyeongchang 2018, but Mouat and Dodds are the first British pair to qualify.
They were crowned world champions in Aberdeen back in May, which sealed a quota spot, and they will be looking to replicate that success with Olympic gold this February.
“I’m absolutely delighted to finally get the news that we’re going to be heading to Beijing,” said Mouat.
“It’s so exciting and testament to the effort that all of us have put in over the last four years to get to this point. We’re obviously going to aim really high when we’re there and we’re hoping to come home with some medals.
In terms of the mixed doubles it’s all the more exciting to be able to play in both events. I don’t think I ever dreamed of being able to play in two Olympic disciplines when I was younger, just because it wasn’t a thing, so to have that opportunity now and to be the first British Olympian to do so makes it even better.
"It’s something I will have for the rest of my life and that’s something I’ll cherish.”
The mixed doubles pair first met at a curling club in the early 2000s, when Mouat was 8 and Dodds was 11, making their rise to become Olympic team mates even more special.
“To be selected for my first Olympics means so much,” said Dodds.
“It’s obviously something we’ve been striving towards for years. Every cycle I’ve been in that’s been the goal, so it’s a great honour to be selected as part of Team GB for this one.
“It means a lot to be in the team with Bruce as well. We’ve known each other for so long. We started at the same club, so sharing this moment together is something really special.”
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