Update Feb. 17: Bruce Mouat at the men’s curling team for Great Britain will play Sweden in the gold medal match, Friday, Feb. 18, at 10pmPT.
Update Feb. 7: Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds narrowly lost their semifinal match to Norway, 6-5. They will now play Sweden for a bronze medal. The Brits opened these Olympics with a 9-5 win over Sweden almost a week ago.
Update Feb. 5: Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds are 5-2 after their first seven round-robin matches in the Olympics mixed-team curling event.
Original: The 2022 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony hasn’t begun and Team LGBTQ already has its first win.
On Wednesday, Great Britain’s mixed curling duo of Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds defeated Sweden 9-5 in the opening match of their round-robin session. Mouat came out as gay eight years ago and is the only publicly out athlete competing in Olympic curling.
In what appeared to be a nod to the duo’s Scottish heritage, Mouat and Dodds were played into Beijing’s Ice Cube with entrance music provided by a group of bagpipers. There’s no word on whether the Olympic Committee considered hiring Mike Myers to put on a green mask and yell “HURRY” at the sweepers but that would’ve probably been over the top.
As two of the favorites for the gold medal, Mouat and Dodds got off to a quick start and were leading the match 4-3 at the halfway point. Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson and Almida De Val mounted a brief rally in the fifth end but the British duo took advantage of an opening and appeared to have the match in hand.
However, with Mouat and Dodds leading 8-5, the Swedes made things interesting by setting up an opportunity to force an extra end to the match. Instead, De Val missed out on a regulation takeout and that sealed the deal for the British pair.
Looking back on the final moments of the match, Mouat sounded relieved and said, “We expect them to make shots but we were a bit fortunate that went our way. We will learn from that.”
Mouat and Dodds have been working together in curling since they were 10 years old. After coming out 2014, Mouat noticed that he immediately felt a deeper relationship with all of his teammates:
“I feel like if I’m going to be honest with anyone, it might as well be them,” he recalled to The Guardian’s Andy Bull, “And honestly from that moment on, there was almost an instantaneous switch. It relieved me of that pressure to agree, or feel a certain way, I was able to be open and honest with all of them. It was definitely a very freeing moment.”
The journey for Mouat and Dodds has just begun as they will be taking part in eight more round-robin matches before the medal round. Mouat is also part of the UK Men’s Curling Team, which means he’ll be competing for the next 16 consecutive days.
Even though there’s only one out LGBTQ athlete in Olympic curling this year, he’ll be representing our community every single day. And there’s no better way to get things started than a victory before the Games are officially opened.