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Elgin curler going for gold at Beijing Paralympics

By Ewan Malcolm

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LOCAL wheelchair curler Gregor Ewan (50) is going for gold at the upcoming Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing after being selected to represent Great Britain for a third time.

Gregor Ewan already has a bronze Paralympic medal to his name.
Gregor Ewan already has a bronze Paralympic medal to his name.

The soon-to-be three time Paralympian was selected for ParalympicGB's wheelchair curling team alongside Hugh Nibloe, Meggan Dawson-Farrell, David Melrose and Charlotte Mckenna.

Ewan said: "Until you actually get named it doesn't quite hit. Everybody's fighting for that spot.

"There's only five spots up for grabs. On the men's side there's really only two or three because it's a mixed team. I'm so excited to get the nod but at the same time I'm gutted for some of the guys who have missed out."

Ewan won bronze in Sochi in 2014 but failed to land a medal in PyeongChang four years later.

That result shook Ewan to his core but the Elgin resident says he is more determined than ever to set the record straight when he hits the ice in March.

He said: "For me, it's unfinished business. I want that gold medal. I want to be top of the podium. Everybody wants that. It's a long road to get there though.

"It's been four years of hard work and training to get here but I want that gold medal. We all do."

Despite Ewan's lofty ambitions, he says the team are keeping things in perspective as they get set to take on a highly competitive international field in two months' time.

"Let's get through the round-robin stage first," Ewan said.

"We were out in China at the start of November and we were two games away from being in a medal game. One would have got us into a medal game and two would have got us a medal.

"All the teams are hard these days. We've just got to go out and do our best. I see great potential in this team but we've got to deliver at the same time."

Ewan has been curling competitively for 12 years after his spine collapsed from decades of heavy lifting on building sites. The sport has allowed him to travel the world and meet people from different cultures - some even becoming good friends despite some language barriers.

"We all have a good laugh," Ewan added.

"I've got pals in Russia, China, America, Canada, all over really.

"You know I can't speak a word of Chinese and they can't speak a word of English but it's always respectful and we're always playing jokes on each other. That's off the ice mind you. As soon as we go on the ice it's deadly serious."

Scottish curling has been in a good place recently with both the men's and the women's team claiming European glory last year. Ewan is hoping that similar success come March will inspire the next generation of wheelchair curlers.

Ewan said: "If I'm able to get one person who's in a wheelchair to look up and try it and experience a different sport, I'll be happy because it's not just a sport for old people anymore - anybody can give it a go."

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