Published: 18/03/2014 09:06 - Updated: 18/03/2014 09:16

Moray curlers set for heroes welcome

MORAY'S curling Paralympians Gregor Ewan and Jim Gault will be given a rousing welcome home later this week.

Wheelchair curlers Jim Gault (left) and Gregor Ewan.
Wheelchair curlers Jim Gault (left) and Gregor Ewan.

After clinching a bronze medal as part of Team GB at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics, the pair will fly home later this week.

Gregor, from Elgin,insists everything he put in to fuel a burning desire to represent Great Britain at the Winter Paralympics was worth it after he won bronze.

The 42-year-old played every minute for Britain in Sochi as they ended their Winter Paralympics on a high by beating China 7-3 to take the final spot on the podium.

That result at one stage looked unlikely as China took a 3-0 lead after just two ends, but some excellent shot making from skip Aileen Neilson helped her rink take seven straight points to win.

And Gregor, who just missed out on competing at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympics four years ago, admits a lifetime ambition has been fulfilled.

"I just feel over the moon, I’ve fought hard for this for the last four years," he . "I was so close in Vancouver but just missed out and that made me more determined to make it and it has paid off.

"My Paralympic experience has been absolutely brilliant. I put in four years of hard work and it has finally paid off. There were a lot of restless nights, many miles of travelling up and down.

"Our coaching is down in Stirling and I am from Elgin so it is about a 400-mile drive. We came out to Sochi last year for the World Championships and honestly I never thought they would have this whole venue finished.

"But they have managed to pull it together brilliantly. The food has been good, the volunteers who have helped us couldn’t help you enough and they speak great English too."

Hours before the clash with China, Britain had faced Russia for a place in the final but suffered a heavy 13-4 defeat that left them deflated heading into their bronze medal match.

Ewan himself had to take some time away from the team of himself, Neilson, Jim Gault, Bob McPherson and Angie Malone to refocus and it did the trick as he played his part in the win.

And for Gregor the team’s determination, displayed in coming from behind to win against China, was the foundation of their success at the Games in Sochi.

"It took me about an hour to listen to some rock music, have some time on my own and calm down," he added.

"It’s a team game and we win as a team and lose as a team but it is hard when you feel you could have done that little bit better.

"I think we support each other better than any team I’ve ever been in. If I want to go and speak to any of the other guys about anything I can and they have my back.

"We have not had any mass arguments in the locker room and there have been no blow ups or anything so it’s been really good."

*Sainsbury’s is a proud long-term supporter of the British Paralympic Association and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit: www.Sainsburys.co.uk/activekids

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