Muirhead inspired by following in Martin's footsteps
EVE Muirhead insists 2002 gold medallist Rhona Martin will serve as a help, not a hindrance, when she makes her Olympic debut in Vancouver next year.
ADVANTAGES OF YOUTH: British skip Eve Muirhead might be only 19, but she believes she can still make an impression at next year's Winter Olympics
Muirhead was today named as Great Britain's skip for next February's Winter Olympics in a team that also features 2002 world champion Jackie Lockhart and 2006 Olympian Kelly Wood, as well as newcomers Lorna Vevers and Karen Addison.
At 19, Muirhead will be among the youngest skips in Olympic history but with three consecutive World Junior Championships to her name, she has established herself as Great Britain's number one.
In 2002, Martin etched her name into British sporting folklore, capturing what was only Great Britain's seventh ever Winter Olympic gold in Salt Lake City and she remains the last Brit to top a Winter Olympic podium.
Her victory was witnessed by six million captivated TV viewers and, as a result, both the men's and women's curling squads are among those expected to end GB's eight-year winter gold medal drought.
"I'm really looking forward to it," said Muirhead.
"I've watched plenty of Olympic competitions on TV but I cannot wait to actually find out what it will be like.
"I remember being 12 years old when Rhona won that medal and I remember sitting and watching it, having a late night with school the next day.
"But it was such an inspiration to myself and to the sport and from then on I've been desperate to go out there and achieve what she has achieved.
"We all know how hard she worked to get the gold medal and we'll be doing the same, so it acts as a motivating factor.
"I know Rhona quite well. At the World Junior Championships last year she was our head coach and I worked very closely with her and was fortunate enough to come back with the gold medal.
"She's always there if I need to speak to her or ask her advice. She's been a great help to me."
While the British men, the reigning world champions, will be considered among the gold medal contenders in Vancouver, Muirhead's rink, ranked seventh in the world, must excel themselves to reach the podium.
At the European Championships in Aberdeen earlier this month, Muirhead failed to reach the medals but remains convinced there are reasons for optimism in Vancouver.
"The Europeans were the first major tournament where we were together as a team. Yes, we were disappointed that we didn't go further but there are plenty of positives to take," she added.
"We'll take those forward to Vancouver. There's plenty of training to be done, even over Christmas and New Year. We've got a competition in Switzerland and then we've got the Scottish Championships, so it's all go for us.
"It's definitely a big step up from junior to senior level but I managed to win the Scottish Championships last year and I got to go the World Championships, which was a great experience.
"We're just going out there to perform strongly in the group stages and see how far that gets us."