Steely-eyed Muirhead on a mission after strong start in PyeongChang

Steely-eyed Muirhead on a mission after strong start in PyeongChang
By Sportsbeat

14/02/2018 at 16:50Updated

Don't be fooled by the painted nails. Eve Muirhead is a woman on a mission in PyeongChang.

Olympic bronze medallist in Sochi four years ago, the British women's skip wants to deal in gold this time around.

Yesterday saw her rink open their bid for Olympic honours against the neutral athletes from Russia team and they wasted little time in laying down a marker, winning 10-3 after just seven ends.

Her team of Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray, Anna Sloan and Kelly Schafer are thick as thieves off the ice and choose to prepare for their match by decorating their nails.

But the piercing stare and unrelenting focus was firmly on Muirhead's face on the ice at the Gangneung Curling Centre for competition day.

"That win stamps our authority down that Team GB are here and we are playing well," said the two-time European champion, whose brother Tom made his Olympic debut as part of the men's rink who beat Switzerland 6-5 after an extra end before losing to Olympic champions Canada 6-4.

"We've enjoyed our time around the Olympic village and doing fun things like getting our nails done. But once that alarm went off in the morning, we knew it was competition day – that’s what we do best - and we knew we had to get our heads down in business mode.

"A lot of people say I maybe have a steely eye or steel face but it's a lot of time to concentrate out there.

"You're on the ice for up to three hours. As a skip I make all the decisions. Let's say I make the wrong decision in that split second and that could cost us the game. It's very important I stay focused out there for the full duration."

A veteran of two previous Games and the youngest ever skip to win a Winter Olympic medal, Muirhead's approach obviously works.

And the stern approach doesn't appear to rub her teammates up the wrong way either.

"I've played with Eve for about ten years now. We know each other very well. She's driven," explained vice-skip Anna Sloan, who like Muirhead had the Union Jack painted onto her nails.

"One of our goals is to know when to switch on and off. She comes across a stern character on the ice but we loosen off the ice and have a bit of fun."

Sportsbeat 2018