Eve Muirhead: GB curling skip pushes through pain for 'last' Olympic place

By Heather DewarBBC Scotland
Eve Muirhead will skip Scotland at the European Championships in Sweden
Eve Muirhead will skip Scotland at the European Championships in Sweden

Great Britain curler Eve Muirhead has admitted that continuing hip trouble means the next Winter Olympics in Beijing could be her last.

The 29-year-old Scot, who took bronze at Sochi 2014, says she will push for an Olympic spot in 2022 then "see what happens".

Despite surgery in 2018, she told BBC Scotland it is "difficult to play with this pain".

"You have good days and bad days; I can't really control it," she said.

Muirhead will take part in her 10th European Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden, starting this weekend.

She has gathered eight medals for Scotland from her nine previous visits, including gold in 2017 and 2011.

"Every day I do rehab and try to keep on top of it," she said of her condition. "But I would rather be tired and pain free than be all jolly. There's a lot of pain. It's a lot of time and effort. Being a full-time athlete, its always going to be hard.

"I feel like I'm getting old. I'm 30 in a few months and I feel like I'm getting to the mid to end of my career, so I really want to push for that last Olympic spot and from then on, who knows what I will do."

Muirhead was just 19 when she made her Olympic debut in Vancouver in 2010 and went into the 2014 Games in Russia as world champion.

After narrowly missing out on another bronze medal at Pyeongchang 2018, the skip had keyhole surgery, similar to that undertaken by tennis star Andy Murray 12 months before he had a form of hip replacement.

"The next few years I know I'm in a good spot and can still play well, so I will buckle down, keep working hard with the physios, the coaches, and see what happens," she said of her quest for a fourth Olympic appearance.

"When I went through my op and off the back of coming fourth at the Olympics, it wasn't a great year to be honest. It was a bit of a struggle. I dealt with it quite well and I asked for help when I needed to.

"Every athlete goes through good times and bad times, that's a fact. It can be very tough at times, but then at others, its great. I try not to let anything get me down."