EVE IN WITH SWEDES AS GRAND SLAM GETS TASTE OF PICK-AND-MIX
Scotland’s former world champion skip Eve Muirhead will get a rare opportunity to gain insight into the methods used by some of her team’s biggest rivals when she takes charge of Sweden’s top rink at a Grand Slam event in Canada.
Muirhead’s standing in the sport has been highlighted by the invitation to join fellow former world champions Team Hasselborg at the Champions Cup in Saskatoon (23-28 April), standing in for their regular skip Anna Hasselborg, who is competing for Sweden at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Norway.
“It will certainly be different for me but I’m looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait to hit the ice again after not playing a competitive game since the Scottish Championships,” said Murihead.
“This couldn’t have come at a better time for me as an individual. I’m really looking forward to playing with Team Hasselborg. The girls are a great bunch and we get on great and have done for years. Right now they are definitely the most consistent team in the world and for them to reach out to me and ask me to play with them was pretty special.”
Muirhead has been a regular at this competition in the past and she is excited about getting this opportunity after her own rink missed out this time around at the end of what has been a transitional season following changes to their line-up.
“The Champions Cup Grand Slam is a unique event with the field only being made up of winners of big events during the season,” she said.
The event will also see Canada’s two-time Olympic gold medallist John Morris play with the USA’s Team Shuster, substituting for their regular skip and another Canadian, Jim Cotter, join Sweden’s world champions Team Edin, replacing their third Oskar Eriksson. Canada’s Team Gushue have meanwhile brought in Colton Lott for their second Brett Gallant and compatriots Team Jones have asked Lori Olson-Johns to stand in for their second Jocelyn Peterman.
All those changes are a result of players competing in the World Mixed Doubles and Muirhead reckons that could be a pointer towards some changing attitudes in the sport.
“There are several team line-up changes at the Champions Cup due to the World Mixed Doubles taking place, but I do think this is fantastic for curling to have a little mix up,” she observed.
“In future I can definitely see more of this happening and teams really striving to put together four great players, not necessarily from the same country.”
British Curling’s Team Mouat is also in the field along with Boost National Champions Team Paterson.
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British Curling Photos: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart.