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Scots fans: defeated curlers still our heroes

Team GB's curlers remain heroes in the eyes of their home fans despite defeat in the Olympic final.

"Curling parties" were held across Scotland to watch the men's team led by David Murdoch play Canada in Sochi.

At the team's main training base at The Peak in Stirling, around 50 new and experienced curling fans gathered to watch the match on big screens.

Despite disappointment at the 9-3 defeat, the team of Murdoch, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow and alternate Tom Brewster were described as heroes for making it to the Olympic final and inspiring a new generation of curlers.

Logan Gray, ice development officer at Active Stirling, said more than 300 first-time curlers have taken to the rink at The Peak in the last fortnight.

"It's great, it's the one time every four years where we don't have to go out and try to find people, they just come to us," he said.

"From the point of view of getting people playing I don't think the gold really would have made much difference. Both teams have played well and there's been great exposure this week and people are finding out and trying the game.

"There was little expectation on the guys going in and they hadn't been on great form, but Dave Murdoch has a knack of finding a way to win and pulling off the right shots at the right time, but when you're trailing by three or four shots in the Olympic final you have to take more risks, and a bad start was the difference."

There were also gatherings in Lockerbie, where Murdoch learned to play, as well as Aberdeen and Perth.

Among those watching in Stirling was Provost Mike Robbins.

He said: "Expectations were high but silver is still a great achievement and the girls did well with their bronze, so we're looking forward to welcoming them back to Stirling.

"This is their home turf on the ice here so we're incredibly proud of their efforts. They're already heroes for the numerous world and European titles they've won and this is only going to make them and the sport more popular."

One viewer in Stirling was delighted with the result. Canadian student Jordyn Bogetti was cheering on her home country and wearing a pair of "lucky" red gloves with a maple leaf emblem.

She said: "The British team had a good tournament but it was just one match too far.

"I'm not really too into curling but I'll always cheer on Canada. We've won both curling medals so I think I'll follow it more closely now."

Another student, Laura Johnson from the US, knew little about curling until last week and now wants to give it a try.

She said: "Before this week I'd never seen curling, they don't show any of it in America, I didn't even know ice was involved.

"But my flatmate has been watching it all week and it's pretty cool. I want to come down and give it a go."

Before leaving for Sochi, Murdoch had said he was desperate to return to the UK with a medal.

David Hird, who described himself as a "senior curler", said the whole team can be proud of their achievement.

He said: "It's a magnificent performance to get a silver medal and that's what the boys need to hang on to because I'm sure they'll be disappointed that they didn't perform to their best today.

"They're still heroes and the two medals (for men and women) will be a big boost to curling around the country.

"They've done very well, the Canadians started on song and it was too much to come back from five behind."

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