It’s kind of Back to the Future for David Murdoch, only with curling rocks instead of a DeLorean.
More to the point, it’s Back to Blanshard.
The Scottish skip, in his first major senior international event, finished second to Canadian home-nation favourite Randy Ferbey at the 2005 world men’s curling championships at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
From there, Murdoch went on to win two world championships in 2006 and 2009 and represent Great Britain in the 2006 Turin and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. (Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland are eligible to be represented separately at the world championships, but there can be only one team, under the Great Britain banner, at the Winter Olympics.)
“It’s strange being back to the place where I launched my international career,” Murdoch said on the eve of today’s start to the 2013 world championships.
To go from there to hear Flower of Scotland being played twice from the top of the world championship podium is something Murdoch describes as “surreal.”
So is becoming a two-time Olympian. But both times Murdoch said he underachieved, losing in the bronze-medal game to Pete Fenson of the U.S. in 2006 at Turin and failing to make the medal round at Vancouver in 2010.
That’s one of the reasons the 34-year-old keeps at it.
“We’ve been to the Winter Olympics twice and feel we have some unfinished business [at Sochi 2014],” Murdoch said.
“We want to get back to the Olympics and this time come back with a medal.”
Great Britain’s astounding medal success in hosting the Summer Olympics last year in London only whetted Murdoch’s appetite more to make an impact at the Winter Games, the latter of which are generally not a British sporting strong point.
“The London Summer Games raised all British sports,” Murdoch said.
“The whole country went crazy. It sent a shudder down the spine just watching it.”
So Murdoch dreams next year of going to Russia with love, but with a medal clearly in mind.
Speaking of love, that’s what Murdoch got out of the last Winter Olympics in 2010 at Vancouver, meeting his wife, Stephanie Faubert, of Duncan, in the process of preparing for the Games.
So in practice Friday, there was a bit of an Island familial throng on hand to watch the Scottish team at the Memorial Centre. As if the Scots need any extra encouragement on the Island.
“We always get big support here,” Murdoch said, chuckling.
“Canadians like Scots. It’s sometimes like we’re the second [Canadian] team.”