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Cold comfort in Sochi

As a nation we can be spectacularly pessimistic about our sporting abilities, but such an attitude overlooks the fact success and failure at the highest level are separated by a hair's breadth.

This was illustrated by Team GB at the Winter Olympics in Sochi twice yesterday, both times involving Scots.

The men's curling team, skippered by David Murdoch of Lockerbie, suffered a surprising defeat in the final, losing 9-3 to Canada. The failure of Murdoch's team to take Team GB's gold medal tally to more than one for the first time was followed by the disqualification of short-track speed skater Elise Christie in the 1000m, her preferred distance. It was the Livingston sportwoman's third disqualification of the tournament. Rather than castigate Murdoch and his team, we should be inordinately proud that they delivered the best performances possible throughout the competition and secured a silver medal.

We should also applaud Christie for her monumental will to win, and acknowledge that, at the age of 23, she is ideally placed to learn from her mistakes and improve.

Murdoch and Christie have done themselves, and their nation, proud. And that, in itself, is a success.

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