DESTINY CALLS RANKIN WITH OLYMPIC SELECTION
Elgin curler Jamie Rankin is aiming to follow in the fabled footsteps of his mother as he sets his sights on Olympic gold in Switzerland next month.
The 16-year-old’s mum Janice was a member of the team which delivered the ‘stone of destiny’ when Great Britain won curling gold at the Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City in 2002 and the youngster, who was born the following year, is now part of an all-Scottish curling quartet that has been selected to represent Team GB at the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games (9-22 January).
Along with Ross Craik, Hannah Farries and Robyn Mitchell he will contest the mixed curling competition, as part of what is a 28-strong team of British athletes taking part in the multi-sport Games for young athletes aged between 14 and 17 years of age.
"When I received the email that I had been selected, I was at the ice rink (Moray Leisure Centre) and I couldn't quite comprehend that I would be going to the Youth Olympics. I passed my phone to my mum who was with me and asked her to check the message and she confirmed the news. She was very happy and emotional and there were lots of hugs. It then started to sink in and I was very excited, it was a very pleasant surprise.
"Mum knows and understands what I have been selected for and she is so pleased for me and it is going to be a fantastic start to 2020.
"Our curling team is great, we all get on really well and we want to do our best and show everyone what we can do. We have had training days together at the National Curling Academy and we have established a really good team dynamic, now it is about keeping up the standard for what is required at Lausanne.
"I have never curled outside of Scotland before, so to get this opportunity to represent Team GB, wearing the Team GB kit will give me so much pride and I am really looking forward to getting on the ice and competing in the matches."
His 47 year old mum was also thrilled by the news of Jamie’s selection and has simply advised him to savour the experience.
“He passed his phone to me and asked does this email say what I think it does? We were both so excited,” she said.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for young athletes to experience the Olympic environment, with the Youth Games mirroring everything we went through and it is a great way to prepare athletes for the future.
“I have told him to enjoy every moment, to focus for every game but also to enjoy the downtime and to take in the whole atmosphere and to embrace all of it.”
Team GB curlers selected for Lausanne:
Name: Ross Craik
Name: Hannah Farries
Name: Robyn Mitchell
Name: Jamie Rankin
Curling at Lausanne 2020 will take place in Champery from 10-22 January.