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EVE MUIRHEAD: A 4th Olympics seemed out of reach so qualifying GB for Beijing feels extra special

Team Muirhead will be going to the Winter Olympics.
Team Muirhead will be going to the Winter Olympics.

Pizza, Champagne and plenty of tears!

That was the story of the few hours after we qualified Britain for the Olympics.

There is still selection to be confirmed but for me personally, having the prospect of going to a fourth Games feels fantastic.

I’ll be honest, at various times since Pyeongchang I didn’t think I would get there.

It was actually a push to go for another one.

There was the disappointment of missing out on a medal last time.

When you have a shot to get it and don’t pull it off, you do question your ability.

There’s been the hip surgery and then recently we didn’t even finish top six in the Worlds to secure our spot.

It’s been such a rollercoaster.

For me, I just had to knuckle down and focus on my own game when we switched to a squad system.

And at the end of that process, getting to team-up with four girls who share my drive and determination has been key to it all.

If our selection is confirmed, it will be their first Games and I’m so thrilled for Hailey, Vicky, Jen and Mili.

And proud of them as well.

Being happy

I can safely say that I’m playing some of the best curling of my career.

A lot of that comes from being happy and enjoying being part of such a supportive environment.

That has definitely got us through this week.

In the breaks of our game against Italy, which we won pretty early, I had one eye on what was happening between Japan and Turkey.

I knew that we had the best draw shot numbers and that would mean we would finish top if Turkey could pull off the win.

Because they had already beaten us and Korea, the Olympic silver medallists, there was always a chance it could happen.

We all went back to the hotel and watched it on a phone.

It’s certainly a bit different to the previous three Games I’ve qualified for!

We’d still have been in a good place to get Britain there even if Turkey hadn’t won.

Our form was getting better and better and we’d have had two bites at the cherry.

But it’s such a relief to not have to go through that and be able to fly home a day early, knowing we’ve done it.

This has been such a tough year for everybody and for us as a team, you couldn’t write our story.

We only came together a couple of months ago and now we’ve followed up our European gold with sealing Britain’s place at the Olympics.

To be one win and two defeats after day two wasn’t the position we wanted to be in so there was big pressure to beat Japan.

At the time they were unbeaten and we had to get the win.

We did it and then racked up five in a row.

Grit and determination

We might not have been a team for long but we’ve got grit and determination.

I always tried to stay positive even when we had that huge disappointment at the Worlds and we went back to the drawing board.

And the big advantage of coming through this way is that you can’t have any more pressure than we’ve just come through.

This has been the most pressure I’ve experienced.

To know that we’ve achieved something special for our team but also helped secure funding and jobs for other people involved in our sport feels amazing.

It’s going to be a great Christmas and roll on the new year!

Perthshire curler Eve Muirhead secures a place at her 4th Winter Olympics

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