Mouat takes Adlington inspiration to Beijing 2022

Bruce Mouat will go for curling gold under the same roof as Rebecca Adlington in Beijing and wants to make his own slice of Team GB history.

Adlington won double gold in the Water Cube in 2008, now transformed into the Ice Cube as the Chinese capital becomes the first city to host the Summer and Winter Games.

The Scot, who was in fact a promising junior swimmer before choose curling as a career, needs to look no further for inspiration as he makes his Olympic bow.

“I remember Rebecca winning her golds very fondly,” said Mouat.

“I’ve loved the Olympics since I was young. I remember that pool had Michael Phelps and all these amazing athletes swimming in it.

“It’s exciting to know loads of medals having already been given to brilliant athletes in that venue, including British ones, so hopefully it can inspire us to do well out there too.”

Mouat’s name was one of the first on the team-sheet for Beijing 2022, joined by Grant Hardie, Hammy McMillan and Bobby Lammie alongside alternate Ross Whyte.

The 26-year-old is also the first British curler to have a shot at two events at a single Games, competing in the mixed doubles alongside Jenn Dodds as reigning world champions.

It’s fair to say none of this would have happened were it not for the ‘Stone of Destiny’, which altered the path of Mouat and his generation of curlers.

The game of stones didn’t run in the Edinburgh native’s family, a rarity in the unique sport dominated by Scottish clans.

That’s a marked contrast to team-mates McMillan and Hardie, who are cousins, with Hammy’s father representing Team GB in the men’s event in Salt Lake City in 2002.

That year, young Mouat watched on as Rhona Martin and team clinched dramatic Olympic gold, lighting the fire for his own personal pursuit of the sport.

“It was one of the reasons Dad took me along to the rink,” he said.

“I didn’t have any relation who curled before me, it hasn’t run in the family for me, unlike most curlers. Rhona’s success was such a huge thing and it led the way for so many athletes.”

Some kids spend family holidays frolicking on the beach - but not Mouat.

If you wanted to find eight-year-old Bruce, he’d be in his family’s holiday home in Spean Bridge, poring over the first and only curling video game, Granite.

It is the sport’s classic combination of art and science that still holds its enduring appeal for Mouat.

“I don't think that we can have too much data,” he said.

“The fact that we're able to have this information right now - which is maybe at the beginning stages as we have a lot further to go with it - as well is important.

“But obviously curling is quite a physical sport as well, so you have to be able to be a good athlete as well as strategy.

“That’s probably why I love the sport so much is not only about the physicality, but how of strategic and daring you are to be two steps ahead of your opposition.”

Mouat’s rink came together in 2017 and have been a dominant force on the World Curling Tour ever since, making their own history in their first appearances at the sport’s top events.

Having won bronze on World Championship debut in 2018 and gold at their maiden European Championships that same year, they’re hoping first time will be a charm once again.

“The fact that we’ve had success in the last two years gives us a lot of confidence going in,” said Mouat.

“People always remind me that the Olympics are different and it’s a difficult thing to go for the first time.

“We went to the Europeans for the first time and won a medal at our first World Championships. I think it’s not unrealistic for us to look at an Olympic medal. We’re in a very good spot and we could go out there and do that.”

Sportsbeat 2021