Stranraer curler Hammy McMillan is keeping it in the family when it comes to representing Team GB at the Winter Olympics.
The 29-year-old has been selected for Beijing 2022 in an all-Scottish team alongside skip Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, and his cousin Grant Hardie.
The Games will be a family affair for McMillan, who is following in the footsteps of his father who represented his country at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
And it seems that there is some unfinished business in the family, with Hammy senior finishing seventh in Salt Lake City.
— Team GB (@TeamGB) October 14, 2021
“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 Rhona Martin and team won gold in the women’s event, meaning McMillan has no shortage of inspiration to chase gold in China.
National Lottery players help fund over 1,000 athletes which allows them to train full-time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support. This funding is crucial as athletes look ahead to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing 2022.
“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, which came together in its current form in 2017 and had immediate success on the World Curling Tour.
They decided to form the rink over a pint or two, first bringing Lammie on board who himself had played with Mouat as a junior since 2015.
The team only came together at that time when Mouat failed to qualify for PyeongChang 2018 in the mixed doubles discipline.
“To be able to represent Team GB together with Grant is going to be brilliant,” said McMillan, who is grateful to National Lottery players who have given him the chance to turn dreams into realities.
Since National Lottery funding to elite sport started in 1997, over 1,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals have been won, with more to come in Beijing 2022, Paris 2024 and beyond.
“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 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 Olympic debut.
“We know we can stand on that podium - come February, we’re hoping for an Olympic medal,” he said.
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