WITH seven major championships medals already in his possession, Bruce Mouat has already established himself as one of Scotland’s most successful ever sportsmen.

But the Edinburgh curler is eminently conscious of the one gap in his CV: a major global title.

He’s been within touching distance more than once; Olympic and world silver medals are both in his collection but, as yet, gold from a major global championship still eludes him.

That’s something he is set on rectifying over the next nine days.

Today, Mouat and his rink of Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie, Hammy McMillan and alternate, Kyle Waddell, begin their campaign at the World Men’s Curling Championships in Ottawa in Canada which will, they hope, have a golden finish. And while Mouat, who also has a world bronze medal, is never one to be over confident about his chances, he is unequivocal about his goal this week.

“The World Champs bronze and the silver have been nice but it’s not gold, is it? The gold is what we’re going there to win this week and I believe that if we can play near to our best, we’ll be pretty close to winning it,” the 27-year-old says.

“We know the teams who’ll be there and we know what’s expected of us. And we know if we perform like we can, we think we’ll be really close to gold.”

Mouat and his rink have established themselves as one of the most consistent teams in the curling world, with major championship medals and Grand Slam victories coming at quite a pace over recent seasons.

Currently ranked seventh in the world, Mouat has been in impressive form of late.

Gold at the European Championships in November was quickly followed by a Grand Slam final appearance before yet another Scottish national title was won last month.

It has, admits Mouat, been an encouraging return to form after negotiating the feared “Olympic comedown” following the Beijing Games a year ago.

“I’m happy with how the season’s gone so far – we started off a wee bit slow, probably because we were coming off an Olympic season, but we’ve played really well over the past few months so I feel like I’m in a pretty good place going into these Worlds,” he says.

“The Olympic comedown is always the worry and we put in a lot of work to ensure that didn’t last too long but it did last longer than I expected.

“It was a big learning experience for me and I now really know what the term “Olympic hangover” means.

“So to now be back playing well this season has been great.”

This men’s world championships is just the start of a busy month for Mouat.

Immediately following the conclusion of this event, he will fly to Korea to play the World Mixed Doubles Championships alongside his playing partner and long-time friend, Jen Dodds, who was part of the women’s side which won Olympic gold last year.

It is quite a schedule and one that will place a considerable toll on the Edinburgh man but the opportunity to regain the world title he and Dodds won in 2021 was too much to turn down.

“I really don’t know how I’ll cope with these next few weeks,” he admits. “I’m very excited and honoured to get picked for both the men’s and mixed Worlds and although it’ll be tough, I play both because I love it.

“Curling is my passion – I love playing with my men’s team but I also really enjoy playing with Jen in the mixed doubles and I just want to compete as much as I can.

“I realise how lucky I am to get the opportunity to play at two world championships within the space of a month – that’s not something many people will ever do.”

For the entirety of his professional career, Mouat has been used to sharing the spotlight with his compatriot and skip of the women’s team, Eve Muirhead.

But following her retirement from the sport last summer, Mouat is now the one expected to ensure silverware returns to these shores.

It is quite a pressure but one that Mouat is embracing and while he refuses to contemplate emulating Muirhead’s incredible success in major championships, he admits getting anywhere close to her tally of 16 major championship medals would be an overwhelming success.

“I don’t feel like there’s more pressure on us following Eve’s retirement and actually think it’s really nice that people think and expect us to do well because it shows how well we’ve done in the past,” he says.

“Having that pressure is a privilege and we actually like people saying they think we’ll go to these major events and do well.

“It’s very exciting to know I’m collecting so many medals but I don’t consciously keep count.

“Hopefully I can get closer to double figures at some point but it’s not easy to win these medals and I have to work very hard for every one.

“Eve has left an amazing legacy - to win 16 is absolutely incredible and a bit mind-blowing so if I could get anywhere close to her, that’d be pretty special.”