Sochi 2014: Rhona Martin on her sporting life

Rhona Martin is a former British curling star. She captained the Scotland women's team at both the European and World Championships, but is most famous as the skip of the Great Britain team that won gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. She retired in 2007 and moved into coaching, and in 2010 was appointed the head coach of the British and Scottish women's curling performance squad. She talks to Get Inspired about her sporting life.

I was badminton captain at school. But when I left I wanted to do something different, hence curling.

Rhona Martin career statistics

  • One gold at 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City
  • Silver medal at the 1998 European Championships

My brother Drew curled quite a bit. He won the Scottish juniors but the first time I did it I hated it. I kept falling and saying: Why are we doing this?

It wasn't an Olympic medal sport when I first started. So I was just playing it for fun then.

I won a holiday for claiming the Scottish Juniors title. I thought "this is a great sport".

We only went full-time from the October before the 2002 Games. We had found out in April 2001 we were going to be the Olympic team. We played a lot in Canada, did a week's training in Austria and had a holding camp in Calgary.

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Rhona has a total of four honorary degrees from the University of Dundee, Glasgow Caledonian University, Heriot-Watt University and University of West of Scotland (formerly University of Paisley).

I worried if I didn't make the final stone, the team would never speak to me again. It was the gold medal match in Salt Lake City and the score was level going into the final end. I remember thinking it was good we had the hammer (final stone) but that last stone's all down to me.

I've never watched the final the whole way through ever since. I've seen the last stone quite a few times but never watched the final.

We got a letter from the Prime Minister and lots of congratulatory faxes. We thought the coverage was just highlights; we didn't know that people were watching the game live and that the whole of Britain had stayed up to watch!

Sochi 2014: GB women win curling gold in 2002

We went into Salt Lake for our medal ceremony. When we arrived and there was 25,000 people in the plaza, it was wow. When the national anthem played I thought… what have we done?

When the children were young I didn't take them with me. We had a really good childminder and as long as they got a present when I get back they were OK about it.

At the curling club I'm a member of, the youngest is 14 and the oldest is in her 80s. For me as the captain, the big thing that kept me going were the tactics of the game. Every time you stepped on the ice you faced a different challenge.