In the immediate aftermath of becoming Olympic champion just over a year ago, Jen Dodds admits thoughts of retirement flitted across her mind.

After all, now she’d achieved her lifelong dream, what else remained for the Edinburgh curler to do?

However, a sense still burned within her that she still had more to do in the sport and so rather than walk away, a change of direction has been exactly what she needed to ensure she is as motivated as ever.

Dodds won her Olympic gold in Beijing last February as part of Team Muirhead’s women’s squad but this season, she’s restyled herself as a full-fledged mixed doubles player.

Currently on something of a sabbatical from the women’s game, Dodds is concentrating almost entirely on mixed doubles alongside her on-ice partner, Bruce Mouat.

It’s a change that has, she believes, already started to pay dividends to her performance.

“It’s been quite a different season for me only concentrating on mixed doubles so I’ve had more time at home and that’s given me more time to work on things I want to work on and that’s something I’ve not always been able to do. That’s really benefitted me and the few times Bruce and I have been able to train together, we’ve slotted back together really nicely,” the 31-year-old says.

“Last year, with it being Olympic year, we were non-stop all season so this has given me time to recover.

“After the Olympics, I was pretty mentally drained and I definitely feel like the mental fatigue has taken longer to recover from than the physical fatigue. So now, I’ve had the time to recover from that and I feel in a really good place.”

Dodds will have her first major test as a mixed specialist this week.

Having won the Scottish mixed doubles title with Mouat in February, the pair were selected for the World Mixed Doubles Championships, which begin in Korea tomorrow.

Dodds and Mouat who, with his men’s team, spectacularly won World Championship gold just a couple of weeks ago in Canada, are no strangers to mixed doubles success as a pair. Together, they won world gold in 2021, with Scotland retaining it last year in the form of victory by Eve Muirhead and Bobby Lammie, and so Dodds is making no secret of her desire to regain their title from two years ago, as well as make it a hat-trick of wins for Scotland.

“Obviously our first aim is to win,” she says.

“With Scotland having won the past twice, it’s pretty certain there’ll be a target on our back but we’re pretty used to that situation and we’re used to having others raise our game against us. So in turn, that means we’re well aware that we need to also raise our game to make sure we end up where we want to be at the end of the tournament.”

Becoming Olympic champions last year was a momentous achievement for all five members of Team Muirhead, which was highlighted by the fact that three of the five women in the squad promptly retired.

Dodds admits that she did, fleetingly, consider joining them in hanging up her curling shoes but, in fact reaching the pinnacle of her sport has served to make her a better player in the aftermath of their Olympic win, something she is keen to demonstrate this season.

“After Beijing, I did reflect and think about where I wanted to go over the next four years and in contrast to some of the other girls, I felt like I had another cycle in me,” she says.

“You do have to think hard because it’s a four year commitment but I quickly decided I wanted to continue.

“Being Olympic champion has changed my outlook. I’m so content with that gold medal – obviously it’s the absolute pinnacle of our sport and now, I’ve achieved my dream so I do feel like now, I just want to go enjoy myself. And that’s exactly when I play my best so it’s win-win for me approaching the events like that.

“I do feel like it’s removed a lot of pressure for me. When you’re in the middle of a tight game, you feel that usual pressure but overall, I put less pressure on myself now which is a big benefit for me and I just want to go out there and have fun now.”