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EVE MUIRHEAD: Less than year until Winter Olympics start in Beijing and we can be cautiously optimistic

The Olympic flame being lit at the Beijing Games in 2008.
The Olympic flame being lit at the Beijing Games in 2008.

It is now less than a year until the Winter Olympics will start in Beijing.

Given the last 12 months we have all endured and the uncertainty that still remains over coronavirus, I accept that first sentence is a bold one.

However, as a team, we simply have to proceed on the basis that everything will go ahead as planned when it comes to China.

We must work, train and compete as normal – all with the aim of being there in 364 days’ time.

There can be no wondering and worrying about what might happen with the pandemic because you can’t afford to take your foot off the gas.

Eve’s rink at the January Challenge Final.

February 4, 2022 is the opening date that has been circled in the diary and the Games will come to a close 16 days later. Hopefully, there will be plenty of brilliant moments and marvellous memories in between.

I do think that we, as curlers, can allow ourselves to look ahead with cautious optimism when considering whether or not they will proceed.

Perhaps those of us who hope to take part in the Winter Olympics are more fortunate than the sports men and women preparing for the Games in Tokyo this summer because we do have time on our side.

As a team, Beijing is definitely our big goal, even though there is a lot of hard work ahead if we are to achieve that goal.

Elite finals focus

We just have to pray that everything goes smoothly and that the vaccines will have had the positive impact we are all hoping for.

For now, it is all about the Elite finals in Stirling for us.

We beat Fay Henderson’s team 9-1 on Wednesday then followed that up with an 8-5 victory over Beth Farmer’s team yesterday.

I have to say that it has just been brilliant to be out on the ice and involved in competition.

While things aren’t exactly normal for us because of the restrictions and the twice-weekly Covid testing, I really appreciate all the hard work done behind the scenes to put events like this on.

~ One event on the calendar most of us who love sport look for every year is Scotland’s Six Nations rugby clash with England.

Cameron Redpath (in yellow bib) is set to make his Scotland debut against England.

Of course, we will have to do without the usual electric atmosphere at Twickenham but I am sure I am not alone is being very thankful that this famous match is even taking place.

One thing about the lockdowns is that we have missed occasions like this but we will all be able to tune in tomorrow afternoon.

I am hopeful that I will be able to spare an hour and a bit to cheer on the Scots and, although it will be difficult against a very strong English side, I believe we have a decent chance.

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