Winter Olympics: Eve Muirhead flying flag as Great Britain bearer in Beijing

Scottish curler Eve Muirhead shared flag-bearing duties for Great Britain at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics in the famous ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium on Friday.

Muirhead, a bronze medallist at Sochi 2014, shared the duty with Dave Ryding who made history last month in Kitzbuehel as the first British athlete to win an alpine skiing World Cup.

Both are competing in their fourth games.

Former world champion Muirhead returns with a relatively experienced rink to her fourth Games, but is convinced all three British curling teams – including mixed doubles pair Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds – can make it on to the podium.

Great Britain's flag bearers Dave Ryding and Eve Muirhead lead the team out during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Beijing National Stadium in China. Picture date: Friday February 4, 2022.

Mouat and Dodds, the defending doubles world champions, have made a strong start to their event, while Mouat’s men’s team are reigning world silver medallists and strongly fancied for a medal.

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Muirhead said: “Bruce and Jen have made a fantastic start and they’re definitely going in there as the world champions with form, so I don’t see why there’s anything to stop us coming away with three medals.

“Of course it’s going to be tough, but we know Bruce and his men’s team are I think the best in the world right now, so they’ll fight for medals and we are also capable of beating any team in the world.”

Great Britain's flag bearers Dave Ryding and Eve Muirhead lead the team out during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Beijing National Stadium in China. Picture date: Friday February 4, 2022.

Muirhead admitted having plenty of doubts over her ability to reach a fourth Games, having missed out on automatic qualification via the World Championships and needing to fight through a nail-biting qualifying tournament to secure her place.

But she said the challenges would make her participation in Beijing – and the honour of carrying the flag – all the more memorable.

Muirhead added: “To be asked to be one of the flagbearers at the opening ceremony is honestly a dream come true and something I never thought I would do.

“I never thought I’d go to a fourth Olympics either. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster to get here. I feel very honoured and privileged to carry the flag and it will be a memory I’ll never forget.”

The opening ceremony kicks off the games which are being held in China.