In a match that reflected curling’s reputation as a “game of millimeters,” out gay curler Bruce Mouat and his Great Britain squad ended their first Olympic Games with a silver medal, falling to Sweden in Saturday’s gold medal match.
For the first time in Olympic history, the men’s curling final went to an extra end. The two teams dueled with the level of execution expected of the top two finishers in the round-robin portion of the tournament.
Both Mouat and vice skipper Grant Hardie hit key shots to keep Team GB tied 4-4 with Niklas Edin’s veteran team after regulation.
Mouat’s final shot in the extra end, extremely difficult and meant to ricochet off his own stone into Sweden’s shot rock, missed its target by the slimmest of margins, locking up Edin’s first Olympic gold in four tries.
An instant classic in the gold medal match for men's curling came down to an extra end. #WinterOlympics— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 19, 2022
: Great Britain pic.twitter.com/lo38SrImpB
“It’s still pretty raw,” Mouat told BBC Sport. “That’s going to be the case for quite a while. I’m trying to think how great our week was and proud how we went about it. We topped the table and had a really good semi-final performance, so I’m trying to think about the other things apart from that game.
“I do feel proud of myself and my guys. I’m just still a bit raw. I don’t know how to describe it. I’m sure down the line I will feel proud of this medal but right now I’m just trying to soak it in.”
Mouat’s sentiments were not alone on the team.
“It’s not how we wanted to end it. We’ll all look back on this and we will be proud, but right now it kind of sucks,” Team GB’s Hammy McMillan added. “They started strong — They didn’t give us an inch. We probably weren’t our best at the start but we fought back hard. We had a good second half to give ourselves a chance.”
Congratulations @TeamMouat on your Silver Medal and bringing home @TeamGB’s first #Beijing2022 medal!— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 19, 2022
You should be incredibly proud of your performance this week https://t.co/YhO2gJgz2Z
Mouat and company’s silver medal is the first medal of the 2022 Games for Great Britain and the first medal for the Brits in men’s curling since winning silver in 2014.
Though they missed out on the gold, the Royal Family made sure to note that Mouat and his team were greatly appreciated back home.
“Congratulations Team Mouat on your silver medal and bringing home Team GB’s first #Beijing2022 medal,” read a tweet from the Royals’ official Twitter account. “You should be incredibly proud of your performance this week”