“It’s pretty special!” - Forfar’s Olympic medalist

Greg Drummond of Team G.B.
Greg Drummond of Team G.B.

The excitement has not yet died down as Team GB’s men’s and women’s curling squads adjust to their new lives as Olympic medallists.

The men’s squad, including local lad Greg Drummond, took the silver medal in Sochi after the Canadians defeated them in the final.

Meanwhile the ladies took bronze after being knocked out at the semi-final stage.

Speaking to the Dispatch and Herald after arriving back in the UK from Russia, Greg was still on a high after the games. He said: “It was pretty special. We’ve put a lot of work into it over the last three or four years.

“Going into the event the field was pretty tough, probably the toughest field out of any of the World or European Championships we’ve played.

“I reckon seven of the teams in the men’s field could have considered themselves medal hopefuls so to finish second out of the field of 10 was a pretty nice feeling.”

Greg said the games themselves were an incredible experience and despite some negative reports in the

“It was a cool atmosphere. The Russian organising committee did a great job with the games - the areas were filled and they created a really good atmosphere, especially if we were playing at the same time as Russia.

“It was different from a normal curling crowd - these guys were probably watching the sport for the very first time and even though they didn’t know much about it they were really creating a good atmosphere.

“It’s slightly different from a World Championships as well when we’re out on our own. [At the Winter Olympics] we were living in a village with speed skaters, figure skaters, lots of people from lots of different sports so it was just a really good atmosphere about the whole place and Team GB headquarters.”

Despite being disappointed to be defeated in the final Greg says that they were delighted to have won silver and that the semi-final is the game they will remember the most. He said: “It [the final] was the biggest match and it only comes around every three or four years - it’s your chance to go out there and win an Olympic gold medal, it’s the chance of a lifetime.

“Unfortunately for us we didn’t quite put it together in the early ends of the game and when we were 5-1 down on the scoreboard it was always going to be a big uphill task.

“We missed a couple of shots in the early ends but the Canadians played well and we have got to give them a bit of credit. They put us under more pressure than we did them.

“But winning the semi-final was probably the best moment of the week when we beat Sweden. When we won that game that’s when we realised that was when we had at least won a silver medal. That’s probably the game we’re going to look back on.”

While the frenzy that gathered about curling back home was clear for all of us to see Greg and the rest of Team GB are hoping that their successes in Sochi will inspire others to take up the sport, “We stayed on social media throughout the whole event so we were able to grasp a little bit what was going on back at home.

“I know the guys at Forfar Indoor Sports pretty well and I know they were having a big celebration for the final.

“We basically had the whole county talking about curling and it’s our one chance every four years to showcase our sport to the world.

“Hopefully we have inspired some people, especially the younger generation to go out and give it a go.”

And with the Olympic legacy from London in 2012 still going strong Greg hopes the momentum will continue, “It’s really special to have inspired people to get involved with curling especially being part of Team GB at the Winter Olympics and being the most successful team since 1924.

“We saw the effect London [Olympics 2012] had on the country and we would like to think we have managed to go something similar with winter sport.

“We need people to go out now and play the sport while it’s fresh in people’s minds. We are a seasonal sport and the rinks will close in April so we need as many people as possible to go out and get signed up now to get ready for next year.”

The day after arriving back in the UK the team were in London for appearances on breakfast television and various other media appointments. They also stopped by at Number 10 to meet the Prime Minister before jetting back to Edinburgh for more media appearances on their home turf. And while it is all a little different from what they are used to Greg insists they are enjoying it, “We’re doing all these things because we’ve done something special, we’ve come home with an Olympic medal and only a very small group of people can say they’ve done that for Great Britain. So we’re going to take it in our stride and try and enjoy it. It’s a privilege to do all these things and I’m sure many other people would love to be in our position.”

Looking towards the future now the games are over Greg says some well-deserved time off is on the immediate horizon, “We will take a few weeks away from the sport and we probably won’t do much practice and then when the storm calms a little bit we will pick up our brooms and throw some rocks again.

“We might potentially have one more event before the end of the season and then hopefully we will enjoy the summer and enjoy the fact we are Olympic medallists.”