Eve Muirhead: European title perfect 'confidence boost' for Winter Olympics bid

Eve Muirhead believes winning European Curling Championship gold is the perfect "confidence booster" in her bid for Winter Olympics gold in February.

Muirhead's Scotland rink, including Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray, will represent Great Britain in the 2018 Games in South Korea.

Winning the final major title before Pyeongchang has boosted Muirhead, whose rink took bronze in 2014.

"I would say we are one of the favourites," she told BBC Scotland.

"The majority of the teams at the European Championships are going to be at the Olympics.

"So for us to get that confidence booster there was really important, to get one-up on the nations we are going to be up against.

"Having had a taste of medal success before in 2014, and being as competitive as I am, I am really looking forward to heading out to Korea now, and hopefully getting up that podium.

"Every time I step on to the ice, I know I am practising for a medal. The Olympic gold is the one I am missing right now, but I will do absolutely everything to get that in Korea."

Scotland lost their opening European Championship game to Sweden in the round-robin stage, but recovered to reach the semi-finals, where they beat host nation, Switzerland.

Eve Muirhead watches a stone during Scotland's European Championship success
Muirhead's rink upset the previously unbeaten Sweden 6-3 in the European final

"Against Sweden in the final, we knew we needed to have the game of our lives, because they were unbeaten going into the final," explained Muirhead, 27, from Perthshire.

"We played fantastically. My team were all on point and left me with a pretty easy job.

"It was a very hard week, but we knew how important it was as the last major before the Olympic Games. I was delighted to come away with another gold medal."

It was Muirhead's second European gold, adding to her four silvers and two bronzes. She has also won World Championship gold (2013), silver and bronze, the latter earlier this year in Beijing, as well as her Olympic bronze.

Next Sunday, 10 December, her team will head to Japan for a final tournament this year, before returning home on 19 December and training right up to Christmas Day.

"It is really important to spend it with family, because we are away so often," she added on BBC Sportsound. "So we are going to enjoy Christmas and we will have Boxing Day off too.

"But we are back in our training camp from 27-31 December. Then we have a couple of tournaments before we head out to Japan for a (pre-Winter Olympics) holding camp on 31 January.

"It's going to be a lot of hard work but I am really looking forward to it."