Claire Hamilton doesn’t plan to wave goodbye to curling despite announcing she is to leave Eve Muirhead’s Olympic bronze-medal winning rink.
Alongside skip Muirhead, Anna Sloan and Vicki Adams, 25-year-old Hamilton formed part of the highly successful curling rink which secured European gold in 2011 before taking the world title two years later.
And they transferred that form to the Olympic stage in Sochi earlier this year, becoming the youngest rink ever to take home an Olympic medal when they defeated Switzlerland 6-5 with the final stone of the bronze medal match.
That bronze, Britain’s first curling medal since Rhona Martin led her rink to the Olympic title in 2002, ensured Team GB equalled their best medal haul at an Olympic Winter Games.
But, with the 2014 season coming to an end, Hamilton has made the decision to step away from the team to pursue other interests.
“I’m hugely proud that as a curler I realised my ambition of being world champion and an Olympic medallist,” she said.
“Before the new Olympic cycle starts I feel that it is the right time for me to move on and explore some other ideas.
“The Olympics inspired a real passion in me for the world of sport and I want to investigate what other options are out there.
“I have loved being part of Team Muirhead and would like to thank the girls for the fantastic opportunities and experiences that being part of the team has brought me.”
Muirhead, Sloan and Adams have all meanwhile confirmed their commitment to the next Olympic cycle with the skip quick to praise the impact of Hamilton.
“Claire has been a world-class lead for us and we will be sad to see her go,” she said. “We will take some time before deciding on a replacement but we are excited about the journey to 2018.”
© Sportsbeat 2014