Stranraer curler Hammy McMillan going for gold at 2022 Winter Olympics

Stranraer curler Hammy McMillan is keeping it in the family by representing Team GB at next year’s China Winter Olympics.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 12:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st October 2021, 12:10 pm
Team GB's curling team, from left, Bruce Mouat, Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie and Hammy McMillan in Stirling for the announcement of their selection (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old has been selected for Beijing 2022 in an all-Scottish team alongside his cousin Grant Hardie, skip Bruce Mouat and Bobby Lammie.

The games will be a family affair for McMillan as he is following in the footsteps of his father, a member of the British team at the 2002 US Winter Olympics.

There is also unfinished business for the family to attend to, Hammy senior having had to settle for finishing seventh in Salt Lake City.

“It will be 20 years since dad went, which makes it extra special and it will be nice to share that experience,” said McMillan.

“He’s not said too much about it. It didn’t go exactly to plan for dad, so I’m hoping our time around goes a bit better than his.

“The way the team was playing back then, having won the world championships in 1999, he would have expected a bit better than he did.

“Dad is so excited to see me go to the Olympics. He has followed our team for four years and has been one of our biggest supporters.

“He’s not shy in giving me advice and he texts me at all hours of the day with some tactical tips on what he would have done better.”

2002 was also the year East Ayrshire’s Rhona Martin and her team won gold in the women’s event with what became known as her stone of destiny, meaning McMillan has no shortage of inspiration to chase gold in China.

“The stone of destiny, as they call it, has brought a lot of people into the sport,” he said.

“We’re hoping to create our own destiny as well.”

McMillan and Hardie were instrumental in the building of Team Mouat, brought together in its current form in 2017 and an immediate success on the World Curling Tour.

They decided to form the rink over a pint or two, first bringing Lammie on board as hef had played with Mouat as a junior since 2015.

“To be able to represent Team GB together with Grant is going to be brilliant,” said McMillan.

“We got off to a really good start when we first put the team together. Some teams have a honeymoon period, but we’ve built on that and we felt we belonged from the first moment.

“We’re four totally different characters, which works really well. We do a lot of work with sports psychologists and we’ve worked out that we come together well and make it work.

“Traditionally in teams, the skip is the boss but we’re equal partners in this and we all bring something different to make it all work.”

Having won bronze on their world championship debut in 2018 and gold at their maiden European championships that same year, they’re hoping first time will be a charm again on their Olympic debut.

“We know we can stand on that podium. Come February, we’re hoping for an Olympic medal,” said McMillan.

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