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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 February 2006, 20:29 GMT
GB curlers awarded belated gold
By Anna Thompson
BBC Sport at the Winter Olympics

Curling action at the 1924 Winter Olympics
The inaugural Winter Games in 1924 took place in Chamonix
Great Britain have won their first gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics - before the Games have even started.

The International Olympic Committee have upgraded the golds won by the 1924 men's curling team from demonstration medals to official status.

The IOC agreed to look into the matter after the Glasgow Herald filed a claim on behalf of the families of the team.

The all-Scottish line-up comprised father and son Willie and Laurence Jackson, Robin Welsh and Tom Murray.

The quartet beat Sweden 38-7 and France 46-4 in outdoor matches lasting 18 ends but were not allowed to defend their title as curling was removed from the Games until 1998.

World Curling Federation president Roy Sinclair was delighted by the news.

He said: "We have always been aware that our sport had a great history and we knew there had been curling in 1924."

Britain has now won eight Olympic golds at the Winter Olympics between 1924 and 2002 plus

It means the history books will have to be rewritten as Great Britain has now won 20 medals in the 19 Games from 1924 to 2002, including eight golds.

Florence Syers also won an ice skating gold medal when it was included in the 1908 Summer Games.

It also means Rhona Martin and her team's triumph in 2002 was the second curling gold won by Great Britain.

And now the first curling gold-medallists are Great Britain in 1924 and not the Swiss men or Canadian women who won in Nagano in 1998.

Before the news broke, Team GB chef de mission Simon Clegg said he was looking for his team to win one medal of any colour at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

They have achieved his aim before the real action has started.

"We are delighted that the curling result of 1924 has been recognised by the IOC," he said.


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