Cool Russians end Amy’s run at Youth Olympics

Kelso's Amy Bryce in action at the Youth Olympic Games 2016 in Lillehammer, Norway.
Kelso's Amy Bryce in action at the Youth Olympic Games 2016 in Lillehammer, Norway.

Border curler Amy Bryce has been enjoying an experience of a lifetime this week while representing Great Britain at the Youth Olympic Games.

The 17-year-old event management student is just one of 16 athletes from Great Britain to be taking part in the winter games which are currently underway in Lillehammer, Norway.

The vision of this event is to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and live by the Olympic values. There are 1,100 young athletes, aged between 15 and 18 from 70 nations competing in 70 medal events. This year sees the fourth Youth Olympics, and the second winter edition following on from Innsbruck in 2012.

All the countries have a mixed curling team which is compulsory under competition rules and Amy is playing third and is also the vice skip, with her fellow team mates being Mili Smith and Callum Kinnear who are both from Perth and Ross Whyte from Dumfries. In total 16 teams are taking part in the curling event, with each country playing seven round robin games to try a secure a place in the quarter-finals.

The opening ceremony of the games took place last Friday, but before they could enjoy that, Amy and co had a curling match to win.

First up was a game against Korea, and despite a slightly nervous start the Brits raced away in the second half of the game to record their opening win.

The next day the team had two games against competition favourites Canada and Brazil. In the morning session the match against the Canadians was all square going down the last end, but despite having the last stone advantage, the Canadians managed to steal two shots to win the match. However Team GB bounced back with wins over Brazil, Norway, Sweden, Estonia and the Czech Republic to secure qualification.

Playing Russia in the quarter-finals Team GB trailed 3 shots to 1 after two ends before upping their game to close the gap to just one shot going into the final end. Having to play a tactical game GB gave their opponents plenty to think about with some good shot making, but the Russian skip played a great last stone to take three shots for the victory.

However, it’s not quite over yet. The Great Britain curlers have another chance of a medal in the mixed doubles competition, a new format of the game which will make its Winter Olympic debut in South Korea in 2018. Each curler will be drawn to play with another curler from a competing nation over three days of competition to highlight the unique nature and spirit of the sport.

Before jetting out to Norway, Amy competed at the Scottish Junior championships in Aberdeen where she finished, like her elder brother Cameron, just one win away from qualifying for the knockout stages. However her younger brother Angus made it all the way to the men’s final, where he and his team mates lost out to the defending champions.

This week Cameron is competing at the Scottish championships in Perth for a place at the World championships in Switzerland in April.