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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 14:50 GMT
Troubled Martin focused on Games
By Elizabeth Hudson

Rhona Martin
Martin led Britain to glory in Salt Lake City four years ago
Olympic curling gold medallist Rhona Martin is vowing to put aside her personal problems to help Great Britain to more success in Turin.

Martin, who led GB to glory in Salt Lake City, has faced financial woes and seen her marriage collapse since then.

But she is keen not to let that affect her performance on the ice in Italy.

"The last 12 months have been difficult, not just for me, but for the whole squad with the new selection policy," she told BBC Sport.

"I had to raise my performance and prove that I can still curl at the top level. Thankfully I did, otherwise I wouldn't be in this position now."

Martin, who described 2005 as "the worst of her life", split from her husband Keith after financial problems caused the collapse of his computer business.

The couple were forced to sell their home to pay off debts and Martin now lives in council-funded accommodation.

This will be probably be my last Olympics because four years is a long time
Rhona Martin

It means the 39-year-old mother of two will be back job-hunting after the Games.

"We are only funded full-time for two months a year so as soon as I return from Turin I won't be funded, neither would I expect to be," she said.

"There are a lot of athletes who need the cash so I will be out to try to get a job.

"I've been working part-time with the Western Institute of Sport for the last three years so I will have to see what they say.

"I did a degree in Hotel and Catering a long time ago but over the years I have had to do other jobs that allowed me the flexibility to curl every weekend."

Martin's two children Jennifer, 13, and Andrew, 10, who have been a huge source of encouragement, will remain at home rather than being at rinkside in Italy.

"The children have school to go to and sports that they are involved in at home. If they came out to Turin they might get bored as they are too young to really appreciate an Olympics," she said.

"Although my daughter will probably watch, my son would rather play Playstation than see the games on television.

"But I'm happy if they are happy in their routine at home."

Martin is also ruling out retiring from the sport, regardless of how the team perfom at the Games.

"This will probably be my last Olympics because four years is a long time but I won't say I'm not going to curl again because there are still Europeans and Worlds to compete for before 2010."

Report: Rhona Martin's guide to curling


Focus on curling heroines
31 Jan 06 |  Winter Olympics

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