Eve Muirhead: Olympic champion retires from curling in 'hardest decision of my life'

Olympic champion Eve Muirhead says she has taken "the hardest decision of my life” after announcing her retirement from curling at the age of 32.

Muirhead skippered Team GB to gold at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, adding to bronze from Sochi 2014, and also claimed world and European titles during her career.

Her contribution to the sport resulted in an MBE in 2020 and further recognition for her services to curling in the most recent Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year when she received an OBE.

“After 15 years of international curling and 21 international titles I have made the hardest decision of my life to hang up my curling shoes and retire,” Muirhead said in a post on social media.

“Throughout my career and like most athletes, I have experienced both the highest of the highs, (becoming an Olympic champion) and the lowest of lows and at times the future seemed very distant. It’s been an emotional journey, but a journey that I am incredibly proud of.

“Behind every athlete is a team and I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best and therefore there are many thanks to be made. I can’t thank everyone here, but will do so individually I hope over the coming weeks.”

Muirhead, 32, paid tribute to the support of all of her team-mates “from the bottom of my heart” as well as from the funding received from the National Lottery and UK Sport for the British Curling and Scottish Curling programmes.

“Being skip and representing Team Muirhead, Great Britain and Scotland over the years has been a real honour, and one I have never taken for granted,” she added.

Gold medallist Eve Muirhead poses on the podium during the women's curling victory ceremony at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP via Getty Images)

“Retiring from curling as a current European, world and Olympic champion is something I always dreamt off, and I am signing off with a huge smile on my face.

“With regards to what’s next – I am looking forward to exploring more opportunities and getting my golf clubs out, but watch this space!”

British Curling’s Executive Performance Director Nigel Holl paid tribute, adding: “Eve Muirhead will go down in history not only as one of the greatest ever British curlers, but as one of the greatest sportswomen this country has produced.

“The attitude that has allowed Eve to claim every honour in her sport with a wide array of team mates over four Olympic cycles could not have been better exemplified than in the way she responded to the greatest challenge of her career.

“From the disappointment of missing out on automatic qualification for the Beijing Olympics, she became an integral figure in the re-building process which brought about an extraordinary run of success including winning her third European title on her way to skipping Team GB to gold at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“It was a turn-around which only the most robust of competitors could have achieved and, as a wonderful ambassador for our sport, she deserves all the tributes that she will most certainly receive on announcing her decision to retire from our sport.”

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