FOR most people, an Olympic gold medal would be enough of an achievement for one year. 

Eve Muirhead, though, has her sights set on another major title before she draws the curtain on her season. 

Just two months on from becoming Olympic champion, Muirhead’s focus is on filling the one gap left in her CV by becoming mixed doubles world champion. 

The 32-year-old will team up with Bobby Lammie in the Mixed Doubles World Championships, which begin in Switzerland today, and she admits that despite fulfilling her life-long dream of winning Olympic gold in Beijing earlier this year, she is no less focused this week. 

“For me, the Mixed World Championships is now the one medal that I’m missing so we’re going to go there and do our best and yes, the target it to stand on top of the podium come the end of the week,” she says.  

“I know we’re capable of that but it won’t be easy because there’ll be a lot of very good teams there.” 

Muirhead and Lammie, who won Olympic silver in Beijing in the men’s event, qualified for these World Championships by dint of winning the Scottish Championships last month, beating the reigning world champions Jen Dodds and Bruce Mouat in the process, but Muirhead admits that the weeks following her team’s Olympic triumph has ensured her build-up for this event has been far from typical. 

An invite to Dancing on Ice, a photo shoot with Hello Magazine and a VIP seat at Scotland’s Six Nations match against France are just a few of the appearances Muirhead and her teammates have made in recent weeks but she was never in any doubt that she would not end her season before this tilt at the mixed doubles crown. 

A recent quarter-final at the year-end Players’ Championship for her women’s team was an encouraging indication of her form and Muirhead admits she has no regrets about choosing to continue her season after their Olympic win, despite falling victim to the all too common “Olympic comedown” that so many athletes experience post-Games. 

“Being Olympic champion is starting to slowly sink in, a lot of that’s to do with everything we’ve been doing, that makes it a lot more real than it was in the moment. When we actually won, it was so surreal and it wasn’t actually until we got back from Beijing it started to really hit home,” she says. 

“You’ve reached the highest high and so when you’re at that point, you are inevitably going to have a comedown and have a low.  

“At first, I was running on adrenaline but then it all hit me and I was sick as a dog for a few days. I was just running on empty. It was actually a good thing in some ways because it made me have a rest and it was the first time the doctors were able to tell me to drink Coke and eat crisps and that was fine with me. 

“But we always knew we had these World Championships in the diary whatever happened at the Olympics, as well as the Players’ Championships, so this has always been the plan. 

“After Beijing, we had some time off but then the past few weeks we’ve done some good training - for both Bobby and I, this is our first mixed doubles World Championships so it’s a new experience which is exciting.” 

For someone who has been at the highest level for as long as Muirhead has – Beijing was her fourth Olympic Games – questions about her future are inevitable. 

Having overcome a career-threatening hip injury just a few years ago, it would be entirely understandable if Muirhead decided to call it quits now but she is experienced enough to know that making a snap decision is not wise. 

Instead, she will take some time away from the ice over the summer and consider her future.  

One thing she is sure of though, is that her desire to win has not diminished in the slightest. 

“Now I’ve done the biggest thing there is to do in curling, I can’t get any higher but I know that if I carry on, winning more medals is absolutely not a foregone conclusion, it’s going to take a lot of hard work,” she says. 

“I do want to achieve more and I’m not at this tournament this week just to make up the numbers, I’m there to do well and winning the Olympics doesn’t change that. 

“I really don’t know what I’m going to do going forward. 

“Right now, I just want to get this season finished and I want to finish well – I don’t want to end this season on a low.  

“So in the summer, I’ll take a bit of time and think about what I’m going to do.  

“I’m very competitive and I don’t like just turning up to take part so I wouldn’t want to continue if I didn’t believe I could still win. 

“When the motivation goes you need to really think about stopping but I don’t feel like I’ve got a problem with that yet. 

“Whenever I stop, I can never see myself stepping away from curling entirely but for now, I’m as motivated as ever.”