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Time for a holiday … rink heroes return to Scotland

FANS, friends and family have given Team GB's Olympic medal-winning curlers a heroes' welcome as they returned home to Scotland.

Scottish skips Eve Muirhead and David Murdoch were mobbed by friends, family and supporters when they touched down in Edinburgh.
Scottish skips Eve Muirhead and David Murdoch were mobbed by friends, family and supporters when they touched down in Edinburgh.

Crowds gathered near Edinburgh Airport to cheer David Murdoch's silver medallists and Eve Muirhead's bronze-winning rink as they were piped into the Hilton hotel to be reunited with supporters.

The players received bouquets of flowers, posed for pictures and even passed around their Olympic medals for well-wishers to hold in the hotel lobby.

Murdoch's wife Stephanie, who had not travelled to Sochi in Russia, was greeted with a kiss from her husband. The couple were married two years ago, but put their honeymoon plans on hold because of his training.

She said: "I'm absolutely over the moon to finally have him home. It's still going to be busy for a while but I really want a honeymoon and he promised me one when he was interviewed on TV so I can't wait to get him home and hold him to that."

Mrs Murdoch is Canadian but there were no split loyalties when her husband's team played her home nation in the final.

"It was Team GB all the way," she said. "Obviously it was nice to see Canada win a lot of medals but, as far as curling, I was supporting Dave and his team."

Murdoch said he would use his vacation to consider his future in the sport. He added: "I did promise Steph a holiday; it's just been so busy with training and the tour, so I'm looking forward to a beach holiday and putting my feet up.

"It's been incredible since we arrived in London yesterday. Coming back to Scotland I didn't think we had a support like that so it's really special.

"I've been through three Olympic campaigns and that takes a lot of effort and sacrifices so it's really special to have that medal. This team's young and now has a silver medal so I'll have a think about it and speak to the guys and decide if I want to go forward for another four years. But it is hard to stop and I still have that desire, so it could be positive."

Curling captured the nation's attention last week with both the men's and women's teams involved in dramatic matches as the tournament drew to a close.

There has been a rush of people playing the game following the medal wins, and the players hope interest can be maintained. Muirhead said: "We need to keep up the interest … there's a real buzz on the rinks just now so it's a great time to get into it.

"We weren't really aware of all the support while we were over there. We put all our social media off for the duration of the event, so when we switched it back on after the bronze-medal match our phones were going crazy and we couldn't believe it."

Muirhead had previously said representing Great Britain was "extra special" after being quizzed about her role in future contests given the referendum. The 23-year-old said being part of Great Britain in a sporting scenario was second to none.

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