Friday, February 21, 2014

Success in Sochi

I've not had much time for keeping this Skip Cottage blog up to date recently. For the past ten days or so I've been glued to the television. I enjoy winter sport, and the Olympics provides a showcase for many that don't appear regularly on the box. That's true certainly of curling, a sport that has played a huge part in my life since I first stepped on to the ice as a fourteen-year old, all these years ago. So I've been closely following the fortunes of the GB curling teams in Sochi. What an emotional roller coaster it has been for family and friends. And even for fans watching the action on their television screens. Hours have disappeared like minutes.

Worth it? You bet! Both teams are bringing home medals. What a fantastic achievement, and many congratulations to all involved!

Some memories now - it is the 'Year of Nostalgia', after all. I was for seven years Editor of the Scottish Curler magazine. Early in my tenure, in January 2004, I got a telephone call from Marion Murdoch, the enthusiastic Area Curling Development Officer at the ice rink in Lockerbie, inviting me to look in and see some of the 'stars of the future', the Dumfries and Galloway Junior Performance Squad, practising.

I had just purchased my first digital camera (a Canon 300D) and was still learning how to use it! But I did try and take a few photos of the youngsters.

This was one of the first photos I took with my new camera. Recognise her? It's Anna Sloan, the third player in the Eve Muirhead team which won the Olympic Bronze medals in Sochi yesterday!

The EXIF data on this photo tells me it was taken on January 8, 2004 at 17:15.

Anna is twelve years old in the photo above. It's not the best photo I ever took. To be honest, I should probably have discarded it, but I was very much a beginner with the camera! I like to think that in the years that followed I took many that were better, including more of Anna in her 'journey' towards becoming an Olympian. I remember the occasion of that first photo well and it came to mind as I struggled to hold on to my own emotions as the winning shot in the Bronze Medal game was played yesterday, and I watched the girls' reactions and that of the parents and fans in the arena!

I remember the occasion because of what happened after I took the photo. If I was to use the photo of Anna, I wanted to make sure it was OK with her mum Christine, and Anna introduced me to her. And then Anna said, "That's my Gran curling on the next rink!"

I took another photo, and it was this one that went into the magazine:

This is Anna (12) and her gran Vi Miller (81), who was competing in a local Women's Rural competition that day ten years ago. There are not too many sports than can be enjoyed at any age! And this is just one reason why the sport of curling is so special.

I hope that the many who are inspired to take up the sport now, having seen it on the box recently, will have as much enjoyment from the game as I've had over the years.  The TryCurling website is here.

Photos from my Scottish Curler archive.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely pix, Bob! A treat treat to see today from whence came the GB Sochi Skip Murdoch. :)