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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Curlers make Paralympics GB team

Curlers make Paralympics GB team

By Press Association, 24 January 2014 2.00pm.

Scots will make up a third of the Paralympics GB team competing at the Winter Paralympics in Sochi after the final selections were unveiled.

The five wheelchair curlers are joining a 10-strong team of alpine skiers, including three competition partners, selected for the Sochi Games yesterday.

The wheelchair curling team, announced last year, comprises Aileen Neilson, Tom Killin, Gregor Ewan, Robert McPherson and Angie Malone.

Team GB men's and women's curling teams are also made up entirely of Scots.

Sportscotland's director of high performance Mike Whittingham said: "I am delighted that there will be such a strong Scottish presence in Sochi in both the Olympics and Paralympics.

"Scotland has done extremely well to qualify all three teams for the Olympics and Paralympics, and we now have real medal chances in all three programmes.

"Over the past eight years, thanks to the Scottish Government, we have been able to invest substantially in this sport and manage a truly world-class programme - we now have world-class athletes at junior, senior and university levels, all receiving world-class support.

"I congratulate all of the athletes selected for ParalympicsGB and I look forward to seeing them performing on the world stage."

A number of staff based at the sportscotland Institute of Sport in Stirling are also travelling to Russia to support the British team, with physiotherapists, doctors and a psychologist helping the athletes prepare for the events.

Sports minister Shona Robison said: "Congratulations to the five Scottish athletes selected to represent the ParalympicsGB team wheelchair curling team at Sochi 2014.

"To compete on the world stage, our athletes benefited from the fantastic services provided by sportscotland's institute of sport in Stirling.

"The Winter Paralympics is the pinnacle for any athlete to reach, I therefore wish them good luck as they aim to reach the top of the podium at Sochi 2014."

Curling is the only Olympic sport with a GB programme delivered entirely in Scotland, managed in-house at the sportscotland institute of sport, with a close relationship with the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (RRRC).

The programme receives investment totalling £5.5 million over four years (the 2010-2014 funding cycle), half of which comes from sportscotland with the other half coming from UK Sport
A squad of 56 athletes, including 18 from Scotland, was named for the Winter Olympics on Wednesday.

Curlers make up the majority of Scottish competitors in Team GB, with representation also in skiing, snowboarding, speed skating and bobsleigh events.

The women's curling team of Eve Muirhead, Vicki Adams, Claire Hamilton, Anna Sloan and Lauren Gray were the first athletes to be named on the British team last year, quickly followed by David Murdoch, Tom Brewster, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow and Greg Drummond as the men's team.

The women's team won gold at the 2013 World Championships while the men won bronze.
The other Scots competing for Team GB in the Games are snowboarder Ben Kilner; Elise Christie in short track speed skating; Andrew Musgrave, Posy Musgrave, Andrew Young and Callum Smith in cross country skiing; Murray Buchan in freestyle skiing and Stuart Benson in bobsleigh.

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