Eve Muirhead led Team GB to a 10-3 gold medal triumph against Japan inside the gold medal match, a day after the British men’s curling team won silver. Great Britain’s two curling medals remain the country’s only two from the Beijing Winter Olympics. Eve Muirhead thinks that the victory somewhat compensated for her Japanese team’s setback in Pyeongchang four years ago.
Great Britain Defeated Japan Inside the Women’s Curling Final, Earning Team GB’s First and Only Winter Olympics Gold Medal in Beijing
Twenty years after Rhona Martin’s legendary victory in Salt Lake City, Eve Muirhead required no ‘Stone of Destiny’ drama to accomplish her lifetime goal of guiding her women’s curling team to winning the Olympic gold.
Muirhead, 31, with her team of Jennifer Dodds, Vicky Wright, Hailey Duff, and substitute Mili Smith, outclassed Japan during their fourth Winter Games final, mercilessly earning a 10-3 victory – the joint-largest winning scoreline in a final since the sport was inaugurated in 1998.
Muirhead’s defining moment was not during the suspense of a different end. However, with the final stone of the seventh, a brilliantly performed raised take-out handed the Britons 4 for an 8 – 2 lead & effectively the victory.
It was the culmination of an amazing journey for Eve Muirhead. She became the youngest skip to earn a curling world title in 2013 despite only having a bronze medal from 2014 – plus bronze medal heartache against the Japanese team four years earlier – to display for three Olympic campaigns to date.
Eve Muirhead Inspires Great Britain to Win
Eve Muirhead had a promising start, a smooth last stone shoving aside a smart attempt by Japanese skip – Satsuki Fujisawa – and seizing the advantage with taking two.
She was inches away from a steal within the second end, with Fujisawa sneaking in to score one. While the Britons expanded their lead with one inside the fourth round, Muirhead’s inability to throw in her final stone for a 2 threatened to haunt them.
Japan, on the other hand, was unable to capitalize. Britain grabbed one in the fifth to increase their advantage to 4 – 1 just at the halfway point, and Fujisawa nearly missed a two-point attempt in the next, cutting the gap to 4-2 but handing the hammer back to Eve Muirhead.
Muirhead took the lead with a stunning stroke with her last stone of the seventh end. Her magnificent raised take-out – practically a plant – smashed the lone Japanese stone out of the house for four points but secured victory.
Inside the Aquatics Centre, the Scot lifted a fist to the air, undoubtedly aware that the moment she had sought for so long had finally arrived. The event occurred following the 9th end, as Muirhead rolled in with a two, and Fujisawa declared the game over.
‘A Dream Come True’ For Team GB’s Gold-Medal Winning Journey in Beijing Winter Olympics
Eve Muirhead’s road to Beijing had been plagued with disappointments, from failing to earn an initial spot last year at the World Championships to a terrible debut to the final qualifying competition that left them on the verge of elimination.
Despite an emphatic 8-2 victory against the Japanese within the group stage, Eve Muirhead’s team continued to impress. They needed a win against the Russian Olympic Committee as well as a pair of other favorable results to advance to the last four on the strength of a marginally higher tally in the stalemate shot challenge.
Muirhead defeated Sweden in the semi-finals with a spectacular comeback from a 4 – 0 first-end deficit. The similarities with Martin’s path to Salt Lake City in the 2002 finals were inevitable.
As with Muirhead, Martin – then Rhona Howie – advanced to the knockout phases only after amassing a 5 – 4 record and relying on the outcomes of others, before rallying to defeat hot favorites, Canada and eventually Switzerland to claim the championship.
“For me and all of the girls, it’s a dream come true,” Eve Muirhead told BBC. “I believe that the road to get here demonstrates our strength. We owe a debt of gratitude to a large number of people. It is an experience we will never forget, and we want to make the most of the next several hours.
“It is a scenario I have desired for years. I lost two [Olympic] semi-finals, but I recovered, and this is such a beautiful occasion.”