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EVE MUIRHEAD: Sometimes a silver or bronze is a bigger achievement than a gold – step forward Laura Muir

Laura Muir with her silver medal.
Laura Muir with her silver medal.

The Olympics were a bit of a slow-burn for me.

It was maybe down to the time difference and the lack of crowds but it wasn’t until the last few days that I really found myself getting into it all.

But what an ending.

I couldn’t be happier for my fellow Kinross-shire girl, Laura Muir.

Every Olympic medal is precious and the product of so much unseen dedication and sacrifice.

But when golds are being picked up left, right and centre you should never lose sight of the fact that the achievement level of a bronze or silver can sometimes be much higher than being on top of the podium.

Laura’s silver certainly fits into that category.

Because there have been so few track and field medallists for Scotland down the years, because the 1,500 metres is such an iconic distance, because her final was absolutely stacked with world class runners and because this was the missing one from her collection, everybody is quite right to celebrate her second place as a massive accomplishment.

Imagine what it will be like if Laura gets a gold in three years!

For different reasons, Jason Kenny’s keirin win on the last day was also a highlight.

I love it when you see something new.

Even Sir Chris Hoy was struggling to remember someone making their bid for home as early in such a big race.

You could see that the other cyclists just didn’t know how to react and ended up having to compete for second.

It’s a reminder to all of us in sport that there’s still scope for mixing up tactics at the right time, even if you might think everything has been done before.

The moral of the story is – high risk can bring high reward.

When it’s the closing ceremony for the summer Olympics, the excitement for those of us who hope to be at the next winter Games goes up a level.

And this year, there’s even less time to wait.

There’s still work to do for us to qualify as a team and for me to get in that team as an individual.

But I’m as determined as I ever have been.

We flew down to London last week for a British Olympic Association event for possible Olympians and it was the perfect reminder of what we’re all striving for.

It was good to catch up with the likes of Lizzy Yarnold and Amy Williams again, who were speakers.

But the big thing for me was seeing the excitement and anticipation of the younger athletes who haven’t been to an Olympics yet.

You could see how much it meant for them just to get a bit of Olympic kit, let alone get selected.

You can take things for granted and this wide-eyed eagerness was infectious.

I was already hugely motivated to help get GB to China and that BOA event has whetted my appetite even more.

There are always some brutal injury stories at every Olympics but this one really did feel like it had more than others in the past.

My heart goes out to everyone whose body couldn’t give them the chance they’d wanted and worked for.

The only consolation is that their next Games is a year less away than it would usually be so hopefully that helps speed up the mental recovery process.

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