David Murdoch: My hopes that it’s third time lucky in Sochi
October 23, 2013 17:44 pm
I know people say to pretend the Olympics is just another competition but, let’s be honest, that is very hard to do. This will be my third Games and there is nothing I’ve done in my whole curling career quite like Turin and Vancouver.
Although you are playing guys you know and the rink is the same size, everything else is bigger. The interest and hype is another level, it feels very different, from the opening ceremony to the Olympic Village.
There is also the way the programme is organised. At the World or European Championships we usually play two games a day and it’s very intense.
A lot of curling is about getting a feel for the ice but at the Olympics you might have a day or more between games and things can change a lot in that time.
There is more downtime at the Games, so that’s another challenge – keeping yourself occupied. In the past we’ve had our own computer game competition between matches to force us to focus on something else.
Getting on with your team is absolutely key in curling and, thankfully, we’ve got a great team spirit. In other sport it’s possible to keep some distance but in curling we are living in each other’s pockets for six months a year.
I’ve had a few heart breakers at the last couple of Olympics. In 2006 I missed out on making the Olympic final by half an inch and then fell short of winning the bronze. I was also really disappointed with the performance in 2010, especially as we were competing as defending world champions, and the World Championships the year before a Games is always the toughest.
But everything that has happened in the past just inspires me to train harder and to focus on trying to achieve that goal this time. I’m so desperate for the medal, it’s the only one that has eluded me so far and we will certainly go to Sochi believing in ourselves.
There are five of us in our team fighting for four positions and I think that competition has really improved all our games, this is certainly the best Olympic programme I’ve ever been involved with.
Having met most of the Team GB athletes in the mix for Sochi, I know every one of us is giving our final preparations everything we have.
I can’t remember having so many medal contenders in so many different sports for a previous Olympics and hopefully one of those guys can get the ball rolling with a nice early medal.
That would be a huge adrenaline boost and hopefully take the focus off us a little bit. Our medals will be one of the last to be decided, I don’t think I’d like the pressure if we hadn’t got off the mark before then.
But right now our focus is just on training. In some ways Sochi is very close but in others, it’s still far off. We have many things to work on and hopefully we can find that form that we will need going into the Olympics.