• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

“It’s anyone’s game on the day”


Mar 17, 2023

Calm and collected.

That is the reading on the mood barometer according to Scotland’s newest curling skip Rebecca Morrison ahead of the World’s Girls Curling Championships in Sandviken, Sweden beginning on Saturday, 18 March.

“What’s the worst that can come about?” the 26-year-old says to Olympics.com in an exclusive interview ahead of the showdown.

Waiting for Morrison and her group, made up of lead Sophie Jackson, second Sophie Sinclair, and third Gina Aitken, will be 12 of the world’s most helpful women’s teams in globe curling such as a host of European, Olympic, and prior globe medallists.

The competitors for the globe crown is as wide open as ever and for a new-seem Group Scotland taking its tentative 1st solutions at the beginning of a new Olympic cycle, anonymity is a point they’re quietly relishing.

But there’s also a additional objective behind Morrison’s unbridled approach heading into this year’s occasion.

Final year, poised to make her individual international debut representing the Saltire, Morrison tested constructive for COVID-19 on her arrival in Canada. As the only member of her group to be infected, she isolated herself and stayed in hope that she would make it onto the ice at some point, even if it would be halfway by signifies of the tournament.

A handful of days later, when other members of the group also began returning constructive tests Scotland was forced to withdraw and the skip’s dreams of developing it on to the international stage had been spot on hold.

“It was genuinely tough,” Morrison says browsing back.

“I attempt to bear in mind I held out a compact bit of hope at the time that I was going to get onto the ice for the second half of the championship. And to me at that point, final outcomes did not matter. I just wanted to be on the ice and play. Then, when we had to pull out as a full, it was genuinely difficult for just about every particular person.

“I did see the arena and stuff had a wee cry when I saw it. I was that emotional.”

With the globe now in a a lot several state than it was, Group Morrison will now get a second crack at the showpiece occasion acquiring earned a spot by winning final month’s Scottish championships.

Acquiring to go as soon as much more just 1 year just following acquiring come so close is not only a relief for the curler from Aberdeen, who explains the uncertainty of regardless of whether or not they would ever get the chance to compete there as soon as much more was element of the emotional turmoil that followed their withdrawal, but also brings with it a new outlook.

Final November, Morrison and her group had been chosen to represent Scotland at the 2022 European Championships in Oestersund, Sweden.

The unfancied rink walked away from the contest with a bronze, just following defeating an Italy group skipped by Beijing 2022 Olympic mixed doubles champion Stefania Constantini 9-5 in the third-place play-off, and now the Scots are hungry for far much more.

“It was my 1st medal on the international stage, so I was just absolutely buzzing to come away with that. And I contemplate it truly is offered us a lot of self-assurance as a group,” Morrison explains. “If we can acquire that at this point, what could we acquire in three years’ time?

“I contemplate what we have to take from the Europeans is just considering that a group is ranked higher than you, and possibly a compact bit enhanced than you on the globe stage, it does not imply that you can not have your game against them and go out there and beat them. With curling, it truly is anyone’s game on the day.

“I contemplate we have the probable and the capability in us to take some of these massive teams down as lengthy as we play successfully on the day and when it counts.”

Rebecca Morrison: Curling in the early years “A lot of folks would say it wasn’t for me”

If it sounds like Morrison has a taste for defying expectations then it is considering that it truly is a point successfully ingrained in the Scot.

Expanding up in Aberdeen, Morrison designed a passion for winter activities: Snowboarding, skiing, and even ice skating had been all sports she practised as a kid and that fuelled her competitive spirit.

It wasn’t till 1 day when driving preceding the lately opened Curl Aberdeen sports difficult in 2004 that curling came onto Morrison’s radar. The then eight-year-old asked her mum if she could have a go.

It got off to a rocky start.

“I was terrible for years,” Morrison says with a dash of brutal honesty.

“In my 1st handful of years, I could not get a stone down the ice. I was so small the curling stone applied to weigh far much more than me when I started. I was hopeless. A lot of folks would say it wasn’t for me.”

Determined to retain going, the resolute curler at some point positioned her commitment paying off and the slow starter then all of a sudden began developing fantastic strides.

“I usually wanted to get to the Olympics 1 day, and that is just driven me: the massive picture” – Rebecca Morrison

“I started catching up to folks and that is fairly motivational. When you start catching up with the folks that are above you.”

In 2019, eager to show national selectors that she was extreme about her commitment to curling, Morrison moved south of her hometown in Aberdeen to be closer to the National Curling Academy. It was a selection that in the finish worked out for the most helpful with the Scot selected for the podium probable programme.

She was then capable to curl full-time.

Group Scotland celebrating their bronze medal at the 2022 European Curling Championships (© WCF / Celine Stucki)

Rebecca Morrison on curling just following Eve Muirhead: “It is a fresh start for Scottish curling”

When Morrison, Jackson, Sinclair, and Aitken take to the ice at Göransson Arena, there will be a sense that as they do so, the altering of the guard will officially be complete.

When the post-Eve Muirhead era technically began in August final year when Group GB’s Beijing 2022 Olympic gold medal-winning skip announced her retirement, this year’s globe championships will mark the 1st time the occasion has occurred for the reason that she stepped away.

Obtaining made an appear at nine of the final 12 editions of the tournament, Muirhead’s absence will not go unnoticed, and Morrison is beneath no illusions that folks will examine the two.

“They’re massive boots to fill,” she says reflecting on her new function. “Obviously, Eve [Muirhead] is 1-of-a-sort in curling.

“Eve was at the Olympics at age 19, and that is just a fairly uncommon occurrence. I contemplate it truly is going to be fairly uncommon that you see somebody like Eve come along.

“I’m on that path at a later age and it truly is far much more like what you see normally from other nations. It is fairly widespread for teams our age to have not had as a lot encounter at this age as Eve did. I just have to see it as: yes, I undoubtedly have not achieved her resume at the age that she had but everyone’s journey is several.

“We’re taking our cycle as totally several. It is a fresh start for Scottish curling and we’ll just take it as that.”

When their trajectories may possibly now seem a compact several, 1 aspect Morrison is hoping is she’ll be capable to acquire comparable levels of outcomes as Muirhead.

With the winter Olympiad now underway ahead of Milano-Cortina 2026 representing Terrific Britain at the Games is certainly on the Scot’s thoughts but she’s keen to underline she’s not contemplating as nicely far ahead.

“Sometimes when I contemplate about the Olympics, it does not truly really feel accurate that that is like our path appropriate now. It is a compact crazy to me.

“I contemplate the aspect for us is this present year that we’re in does not count towards the Olympics, but this time subsequent year, the Planet Championships we’ll be going for points that qualify for the Olympics. So, the 1st target genuinely is to just get enough points to essentially qualify Terrific Britain for the Olympics: that is the quantity 1 priority.”

Team Morrison at the 2022 European Curling ChampionshipsGroup Morrison at the 2022 European Curling Championships (© WCF / Celine Stucki)

Conscious of how significant subsequent year’s worlds will be, Morrison and her group know putting in a sturdy general efficiency in Sweden will be an essential step in the Winter Olympic construct-up.

And they will not be carrying out it alone.

Also developing the trip much more than will be a host of Scottish supporters such as Morrison’s mum, who the curler says has been instrumental to her journey.

From financially supporting her in 2019 when she made the essential move away from residence to pursue her Olympic aspirations, to even taking up curling just following her daughter, Morrison underlined her mum’s involvement in getting her to specifically exactly where she is now:

“She’s on board with the dream as a lot as I am. She’s fairly supportive and has essentially helped me get ideal right here so a lot just by signifies of like a bit of monetary aid, specially ahead of I essentially became a full-time curler.

_”_I love it when she comes out to these competitions considering that what ever happens it truly is superior memories and you get to share these regardless of whether or not you are acquiring a tough time and it truly is just fantastic to have that household members aid.”

When Morrison can not wait to hear the cheers from the stands when she gets Scotland’s campaign underway, 1 aspect she says she will not be accepting from her mum will be any curling guidance:

“She could possibly say the occasional comment, but she is fairly superior. I contemplate she’s learnt that I do not call for to hear it considering that if she’s saying it, I know it!”

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