February 20

Britain wins bronze-medal match in women’s curling

It was Britain’s first curling medal since 2002, when the women’s team captured the gold.

The Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia — Britain won the bronze medal in women’s Olympic curling by beating Switzerland 6-5 on Thursday, ensuring the country will at least match its record haul of four medals at a single Winter Games.

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Britain’s Claire Hamilton hugs her coach as her team celebrates after beating Switzerland in the women’s curling bronze medal game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

The Associated Press

British skip Eve Muirhead secured victory with a draw to the button on the last stone, partially making up for the world champions’ disappointing loss to Canada in the semifinals Wednesday.

“The Olympic medal was the one medal we have been missing,” Muirhead said, “and for me to win with three or four of my best friends is so special.”

Canada plays Sweden in the gold-medal game later Thursday.

Muirhead was in tears on the ice after victory was sealed, showing the emotional side of an athlete who arguably has had to shoulder more pressure than any other British competitor in Sochi.

“I maybe come across that I’m kind of stern-faced, focused,” she said, “but really inside I’m maybe not quite as hard as people think I am.”

It was Britain’s first curling medal since 2002, when the women’s team captured the gold. Britain already had won a gold and a bronze in Sochi and is assured of either a gold or silver in men’s curling with David Murdoch’s team in the final. Britain last won four Winter Games medals in 1924.

“What’s so pleasing is that this is a different culture,” said Sebastian Coe, chairman of the British Olympic Association. “It’s not something that we have had a strong toehold in over the years but there are sports here we can build on.”

Britain has a good chance of topping four medals, with Elise Christie one of the favorites for women’s speedskating gold in the 1,000 meters.

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