Wednesday, 28 August 2013
August 28 - Wheelchair curlers Gregor Ewan, Tom Killin, Aileen Neilson and Bob McPherson have today become the first four athletes named on the British Paralympic squad for Sochi 2014.
The quartet, which competes for Scotland at World Championship level - winning silver in 2011 - contains two athletes who have competed at previous Games and two who will be making their Paralympic debut next year.
Veteran Killin is the most experienced member having made his Paralympic debut for Britain at Arnhem 1980 where he won two silver medals in wheelchair fencing.
This will be the Scot's third appearance in curling at a Winter Paralympics following Turin 2006, where he was part of the silver medal winning team, and Vancouver 2010.
"I am over the moon to be selected for Sochi 2014," Killin said.
"This will be my fifth Paralympics and I am as excited today as I was on my first selection [to compete in wheelchair fencing] for Arnhem 1980."
After helping Britain to a sixth place finish in Vancouver, 2007 World Championship bronze medallist Neilson will be making her second Paralympic appearance in Sochi.
"Competing at a Paralympic Games is the pinnacle of any athlete's career, and I'm so pleased to be representing ParalympicsGB for the second time in Sochi," said the 42-year-old, who became the first female athlete to skip a wheelchair curling team in either the Paralympics or World Championships.
"It is a real honour to be named as skip for the team, and I'm really looking forward to the next few months as we make our final preparations for the Games."
Joining the experienced duo will be debutants Ewan and McPherson, who were part of the Scotland squad that competed at this year's World Championships held in Sochi also, along with Killin and Neilson.
"Aileen, Gregor, Robert and Tom have shown an ability to be an efficient team on ice and I look forward to giving them the opportunity to continue to develop their team identity and work closely with each other over the coming months," said British wheelchair curling head coach Tony Zummack.
"We will continue to practice with purpose and thanks to the support of British Curling's partners at UK Sport, sportscotland, Royal Caledonian Curling Club and the British Paralympic Association we will be best prepared to compete with the other nations at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.
"I feel very confident in their ability, desire and commitment."
Further team announcements for Sochi 2014 will be made over the coming months, with alpine skiing and ice sledge hockey still in the final stages of qualification, as Britain looks to improve on its performance at Vancouver 2010.
"With just over six months to go until competition gets under way, it is very exciting to announce the first athletes who will represent ParalympicsGB at Sochi 2014," said Penny Briscoe, Chef de Mission for ParalympicsGB at Sochi 2014.
"I'd like to congratulate the athletes on their selection and recognise the hard work and the commitment to their sport which they have demonstrated.
"This work will continue over the coming months, as we support the team to ensure they are best prepared to compete against an increasingly competitive field at Sochi 2014."