TOP Scottish curler Eve Muirhead has announced that she is retiring from the sport in what is “the hardest decision of my life”.
The Perthshire skip, aged 32, made the decision months after winning Team GB’s only gold medal at Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics along with her teammates.
Team GB described Muirhead as a “leader, trailblazer, inspiration” as she announced she’d be leaving curling after 15 years.
Muirhead said after her 21 international titles she would be hanging up her curling shoes.
“I have experienced both the highest of the highs and the lowest of lows and at times the future seemed very distant,” the curler said in the statement.
“It’s been an emotional journey but a journey that I am incredibly proud of.”
She went on: “To every single teammate I have had the privilege of playing with, I would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication, this comes from the bottom of my heart.
“To my loyal supporters who have always been there, from home and away around the world, you’ve been second to none.”
She concluded: “Retiring from curling as a current European, World and Olympic champion is something I always dreamt of, and I am signing off with a huge smile on my face.”
She told supporters to “watch this space” as she plans to get her “golf clubs out”.
Following Muirhead’s announcement, sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris said her impact on curling is "unparalleled".
"Ever since she competed in her first Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and became the youngest-ever skip to win an Olympic medal, Eve has been a consistently exceptional athlete and individual," he commented.