SCOTTISH curling’s Moray-based president has described being in Sochi for the Winter Olympics as the highlight of his life.
Alan Durno (58) made the trip to Russia to cheer on all the Scottish curlers representing Team GB, and was thrilled to watch every shot of both the men’s and ladies’ teams medal successes.
Appointed last June as president of the sport’s Scottish governing body, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, meant taking a year out from his farming duties at his home at Cuttlebrae, near Buckie, to cover his duties.
But Durno, a member of his local Fochabers Curling Club for the past 40 years, said he landed lucky by gaining his presidency during a year when the Winter Olympics and World Championships are staged.
In Sochi, he saw David Murdoch’s all-Scottish Team GB squad overcome the odds to claim a silver medal, and witnessed a bronze-winning Scots triumph in the ladies’ event for Eve Muirhead’s team.
Scottish curlers won two of Team GB’s four Winter Olympic medals, and the sport has captured the imagination of the British public. Durno hopes the Sochi fortnight will increase participation in curling, both in his home area and across the country.
“Both teams did really well and there were some fantastic games for people to watch back home,” he said. “That’s what got the whole of Britain buzzing about curling.
“Now every ice rink has been inundated with enquiries about the Try Curling programme in Scotland, so it’s great to see.”
Durno will never forget his experience of seeing Murdoch’s pulsating last stone victory to beat Norway and reach the semi-finals, or Muirhead’s rink’s emotional bronze play-off victory against Switzerland, among a series of fascinating games.
Full story in Northern Scot print edition.