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Friday, 22 February, 2002, 01:22 GMT

Your tributes to GB's golden girls

Great Britain's curlers have claimed the country's first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in 18 years.

The team, consisting of skip Rhona Martin, Fiona MacDonald, Margaret Morton, Janice Rankin and Debbie Knox became the first Britons to win gold since Torvill and Dean in 1984.

The whole of Britain was rooting for Rhona's women to win, and the girls duly delivered the goods.

Read a selection of the congratulations we received on behalf of the British curlers following their tense and thrilling 4-3 victory over Switzerland below.


"What a fantastic team you are and how you embody the true Olympic spirit"
Ian Ferguson, UK

Congratulations! I didn't get to see any of the curling but as a Scot living in Minnesota I am so very proud of our champion curling ladies.
Patricia Thomson, USA

Well done girls! You have done the sport and your country proud with the best British performance in a long, long time. I don't think I will ever tire of seeing that last stone. As a Scot living in London I have to put up with a lot of ridicule but you have saved me of that for a while! Enjoy it ladies, and remember you will always be Olympic champions! Congratulations.
Lorraine, UK

Well done indeed - What a fantastic team you are and how you embody the true Olympic spirit. Rhona, that last stone was incredible - your face and concentration as you let it go was a great, and best moment for me in the Games. Good luck, and best wishes in all you do.
Ian Ferguson, UK

Absolutely fantastic - it's truly great seeing amateurs beating the well sponsored professionals. I could not watch the final stone - but when the commentator said 'she's done it' we were all in tears for you. I hope you will celebrate in style lasses - well done.
Rosie Ross, Northumberland, England

Bring it on! I stayed up to cheer you on. It was a wonderful moment. I got so excited when that last stone rolled I jumped up, slipped on the rug and fell flat on my back - ouch. But Well Done girls!
Hannah, UK

"You all showed nerves of steel, and that final stone brought tears to my eyes!"
Shoona Burman, South Africa

My friends who watched the final with me were both new to the sport, and were saying it was boring at first. But at the end of the last end they both jumped up and shouted "yessss!" More converts - well done girls!
Dave, UK

From everybody at Inverness Ice Centre, we would like to congratulate the team on your outstanding success at the Winter Olympics. Your curling was phenomenal.
Keith Petrie, Scotland

A great match - my own heart was racing and I was only watching, so I can't image how Rhona kept so calm. You have made us all so proud of your achievement.
Jane, Scotland

Like 6 million others, I sat up to watch the final and you guys were amazing - I don't know how you managed to keep cool and to play that last stone. It was a truly great moment in British sport. You made the Winter Olympics an event to remember and I don't think anyone has ever done so much to put their sport firmly on the map.
Ian Thomson, UK

What a brilliant performance. You all showed nerves of steel, and that final stone brought tears to my eyes! I was exhausted, I felt that I had played every stone with you all. You won with a combination of skill, clear dedication, discipline of the highest level and huge mental and physical fitness.

When the chips were down you four showed you had what it takes. Having played hockey at the highest level in the UK, I understand the difficulty that true amateur sportsmen/women face. Curling truly is chess on ice, but it also clearly requires mental and physical strength of the highest level.

"Rhona and the girls, you reduced me to tears and made me extremely tired for work today! "
Chris P, England

Your courage will be long remembered by those of us who had the privilege to watch your achievement - you all thoroughly deserve all the "pats on backs" that you receive, and have earned your place in British Sporting History.
Shoona Burman, South Africa

C = Congratulations
U = Unbelievable
R = Rhona
L = Lovely lasses
I = Inspiring
N = Nerve racking
G = Great
Barbara, England

I watched the entire match and it ranks up there with any Scottish sporting victory. I'm off to try out curling tomorrow with some friends. Well done and thank you for putting a smile on my face!
Andrew Marshall, Scotland

What a thrilling victory for Britain...at the end I did not know which team to support anymore. Our Swiss Girls lost to a great Team. Congratulations to both the golden and silver Girls.
Manouk Manoukian, Switzerland

Amazing, absolutely amazing - one of the true great sporting moments. As a football fan, that was pushing Beckham's free kick, and the 5-1 against Germany for sheer drama. Rhona and the girls, you reduced me to tears and made me extremely tired for work today! Bask in the glow of glory, you deserve it.
Chris P, England

What a brilliant match! We sat glued to our television set from the moment the live coverage started on the BBC right through to that wonderful last stone. Us two English girls have never watched curling before, but were inspired by the courage and skill shown by the great Rhona Martin and her team. Well done, the Scots! Great Britain is proud of you.
Karen & Ruth, England

"You are the epitome of the Olympic spirit"
Cath, Loughborough, UK

Brilliant, gripping, nerve-racking stuff! It almost induced my eight and a half months pregnant partner into labour with the roar I let out watching the winning stone.
Grant, Scotland

A credit to perseverance, discipline and remaining cool under pressure - absolutely outstanding and loved every moment of it. Made a miserable stormy UK day have a fantastic ending and we want a curling centre building near us...
Chris Shaw, England

Many congratulations, not just to Rhona but all the team! I have been glued to every minute of the BBC Curling coverage and was half an hour late for work this morning as I overslept having set my alarm for the 3.20am medal ceremony!
Chris Munns, Great Britain

After the tremendous victory over Canada you could have relaxed and thought that the job was done and failed at the final hurdle like so many of our other (probably better paid) sports stars. You showed them how it should be done with a truly fantastic victory last night.

The sportsmanship with which you have played throughout the tournament was a lesson to us all; you are the epitome of the Olympic spirit.

Excluding the rowers in Sydney, the last time I got so excited about an Olympic event was when the men's hockey team won gold in Seoul... who said that team sports should be taken out of the Olympics? Enjoy your victory celebrations, you deserve them!
Cath, Loughborough, UK

"I drove home in record time to catch the end of the final! "
Lizzie P, England

I was one of those many people thinking that curling was a dead-quiet and boring game... until these Olympics! I am an Argentinean who came to live in Scotland barely a year ago, and last night I couldn't be proudest of my second home.
Alicia, Scotland

You've really put a smile on the face of this ex-pat Scot, and I even allowed myself a wee dram to toast your success. The highlight for me though was when the TV announcer said "and in a change to the listings Question Time will follow the women's curling, which continues on BBC1" Fantastic stuff.
Richard, England

A British sportsperson who can handle the pressure! At last!
Damien, England

My dad and I have been on the edge of our seats and I was so annoyed at having to go to a 18th birthday party last night - I drove home in record time to catch the end of the final!
Lizzie P, England

Who needs figure skating when it's all there in black and white?
Dan Benson, England via Minnesota

I've no nails left after watching last night.
Robert Dickie, Ayrshire Scotland

"The final alone was worth the TV licence fee! "
John Bell, UK

I haven't seen curling since Kilconquhar Loch froze over in 1978 but it was worth the wait 'til last night, tense stuff and an exquisite performance! Well done - you had us screaming!
Angus Howie, Norfolk, England

I went out last night as I forgot what time it started but I got back for the final four ends and I don't think I have been that glued to the TV for quite some time.
Big Dan, UK

The final alone was worth the TV licence fee!
John Bell, UK

So there I was, a Rubgy and Cricket fan, channel surfing last night, and somehow I settled onto the BBC and started to watch this extraordinary sport called 'Curling'. I'd vaguely heard of it, in the way that I've vaguely heard of cheese-rolling and the Eton Wall Game. I was, to be honest, preparing to be unimpressed, but such a moment of sporting tension is rare!

I was engrossed, quickly working out the rules as it went along. That last 'stone' (see!) was fantastic - most sport is about being the fastest or the quickest or the strongest under pressure, but dear Rhona Martin - how she held her nerve to deliver such a perfectly weighted stone under such immense pressure is beyond me! So, many congratulations ladies!

Tell me - is there anywhere I can go curling in London? Hmmmm...
Alex Smith, UK

Let's hope your achievement in not only attaining Gold but in making millions of people more aware of such an intriguing sport will see lottery funding for several Curling venues to be established in England. Let's not waste everything this team has achieved for the sport and the fruits that can be borne from it for the future.
Garry Harvey, England

Magnificent - the exploits of the Women's curling team had four 22 year olds leaping around their house at midnight on a bleak Thursday night. It's what the Olympics are all about. Congratulations!
Doug Pickles, UK

"You've put your sport on the map"
Dean Warde, Cyprus

The whole of Scotland is walking a wee bit taller today.
Ronnie McNeill, Scotland

What can I say? As a cynical 28-year-old rugby playing Englishman, I never thought I would watch curling or even say good things about it. I got home from work early a week ago and watched a bit of the curling. I have been leaving work early since to watch! I watched the whole final last night and what a thriller! Huge congratulations and what an example of commitment and sportsmanship you have set. Can't see Rhona getting a three week ban for punching an opposition player because "it was a pressured situation!"
Tom, London, UK

Robin Maharaj, Trinidad

My nerves were jangling, as I sat on the edge of my seat and willed that final stone to come home in the right spot. To see Fiona MacDonald's dad frantically waving both the British and Scottish flags at the end brought a lump to my throat. The girls did Britain and more importantly Scotland proud.
Gillian Dick, Scotland

Many congratulations to you all. Here in Cyprus there is no coverage of the Games so we relied on BBC Five Live to hear you triumph. You've put your sport on the map and fully deserve all the credits and plaudits that are coming your way.
Dean Warde, Cyprus

Brilliant, what determination. The nation is proud of you all and so we should be - well done to you all.
Mavis Saysell, Wales

"You've touched my heart and made me proud. I can't stop smiling!"
Sarah Nicholson, Scotland

Wow!! I think my roommate and I woke up the whole block of flats with our shouts of joy. I cannot tell you how much I admire your strength of character, determination and commitment. To come back from the nightmare defeat against Germany must go down as one of the greatest stories in Olympic history. You've touched my heart and made me proud. I can't stop smiling!
Sarah Nicholson, Scotland

Next door to the Italian restaurant where we were celebrating the 60th birthday of a friend yesterday evening, was a chip shop with a TV in the back room. As the evening progressed there was a noticeable shift in the balance of empty seats in the restaurant to people in the chip shop unable to decide what they wanted to order. In the end we arrived home in time to see Rhona play her last shot. Wow!
Ian A. Fraser, Scotland

Flowers of Scotland! Fantastic stuff! Well done the British team!
Ian Scott, Great Britain

After 11 years in Switzerland, hearing about the ENGLISH (UK) government, the English prime Minister Tony Blair, about the British hooligans (English), about the Brits (Scotland v Switzerland at football), and after bizarre threats by the British against Alain Baxter, the skier from Aviemore, because of his 'political statement', the Saltire hair style), I find it a wonderfully ironic that the Swiss press are broadcasting with conviction that their Swiss Team lost to Scotland.

"Scotland and the whole of the UK is really proud of you!"
Alastair Wilson, UK

The "Schottinnen" (Scots lassies) have unwittingly made a major contribution to the re-emergence of the Scottish "Sein" (existence). Congratulations to the Bravehearts who didn't falter at the death.
Fraser Macdonald, Switzerland

You have no idea how you have cheered us up - thanks! (PS. I look at my broom in a whole new way now).
Emma Place, UK

You have done the whole of your country proud, I myself was in tears when you won, it was a brilliant achievement. Well done and thanks for winning.
Paul, England

What a fantastic result. A testament to the Scottish spirit of coolness under pressure and quiet determination with never any hint of self praise. Well you can afford to celebrate now girls, Scotland and the whole of the UK is really proud of you!!
Alastair Wilson, UK

Well done! What control in a nail-biting finish. I still don't quite understand the rules though! Many congratulations - you all deserve a medal!
Pat, Cheshire, UK

Wonderful! From a family of old (ancient) curlers, our warmest congratulations, not only for such a magnificent sporting achievement but for your unpretentious, underplayed demeanour, such a lovely contrast to so much in the sporting world nowadays. We are all very, very proud of you!
Professor Peter McEwan, Scotland

Superb drama, fantastic result, great team! A truly enthralling introduction to the sport of curling for me - well done!
Jason Skelton, UK

"We couldn't ask for more excitement from sport"
Keith and Christine Calder, UK

In Scotland the match coincided with live coverage of a European football game. But I know a lot of people changed channels to watch Rhona and the lasses, and it was enthralling stuff. Well done to them all, and to their Swiss opponents for making it such a tight game. SWEEEEEP!
Donald Anderson, Scotland

I've watched that last stone over and over again and don't think I'll ever tire of seeing it. Well done on your achievement and giving all us Brits something to cheer about. More curling please, BBC.
Mike Sadler, Great Britain

We have never watched a curling match before, so what a match to get acquainted with the sport! Completely transfixed by the two teams, both working so closely together. The skill and delicacy required was so evident, and offsetting that against the heightened tension of an Olympic final made it utterly gripping; and everything converging on the last stone! Well, we couldn't ask for more excitement from sport.

We were particularly impressed with Rhona Martin's final delivery which was awesome. By the end of the match we were both virtually in tears! Well done girls - you have done yourselves and Great Britain very proud. Now where can I start to learn curling?
Keith and Christine Calder, UK

Congratulations on winning a thrilling final. The last stone was brilliant, considering she was under immense pressure.
Alex Nouri (Age 11), England

Congratulations to Rhona and the whole curling team, I was on the edge of my bed till the very end of the game. And until this Olympics I never really thought curling was interesting, and now thanks to all of you I shall be an avid follower. Enjoy your celebrations
Wendy de Leeuw, Holland

"You really have put curling and Scotland on the map!"
Karen Wilkinson, Scotland

If England don't win the world cup then get your suits out girls for the team sports personality of the year award. Well done.
Jeremy Webb, England

Wow! Our screams of delight terrified the cat! Scotland the Brave and best! Loved it!
Jo Warburton, UK

Awesome! The whole family were transfixed. Scotland and Great Britain have much to be proud of. Congratulations.
Becky Langworth, England

Well done girls! Superb effort, fantastic. You really have put curling and Scotland on the map! Just relax and enjoy some champagne now!
Karen Wilkinson, Scotland!!

Well done the Scots lassies! What a thriller of a final.
Alba, Scotland

Just wanted to say myself and my three housemates sat up all night last night to watch our girls win gold. We all had to get up early this morning for lectures at university where we are all in our last year. We are all tired this morning but it was totally worth it!!!

We were on the edge of our seats all the way through and when Rhona sent that last magnificent stone down the ice and it landed in its winning spot we all jumped out of our seats and started to shout and run around the room it total excitement. We are now all converted curling fans (although we are still learning the many rules).

Just want to say to all the girls, you played a wicked match, congratulations and all the very best for the future, may you win lots more of those nice shiny medals. From a very happy and proud student house in South Wales. Emma, Kim, Caro and Kate. XXXX
Emma Deer, Great Britain

" Congratulations, absolutely brilliant!"
Anna, England

Great achievement having been rank outsiders and having to come through so many games. Hopefully the Scots girls success can inspire the rest of the nation that the UK can win Olympic gold. A huge well done.
Jason, Glasgow

Fantastic! To show such guts under that much pressure was awesome. Well done ladies; you've done your country proud.
Allister Webb, England

Congratulations, absolutely brilliant! Will probably watch that last stone over and over ... Fantastic!
Anna, England

Forget about 1966 (allegedly a great sporting moment), this was simply the best team performance ever, never giving up, even when it looked as if you would be on your way home. And as for that last stone, in the last end of an Olympic final, what can anyone say! Amazing. Enjoy the celebrations.
Phil Evans, UK

The point of my existence was to witness that moment. My heart is still racing! Well done the Golden Girls!
Ben White, England

Well done - all curlers are proud of you.
John Stewart / Kinross Curling Club, Scotland

Well done girls! It has really encouraged me and a lot of my friends to take a keen interest in the sport, we have followed you every step of the way! Well done, Rule Britannia!
Corrine, England

"Watching the final go to the last stone was utterly riveting"
Gerry Flanagan, Switzerland

If Rhona and the team can remember what it was like when half the nation stayed up to watch Steve Redgrave in Sydney - that's what it was like last night. A wonderful moment and a real lift. Lots of people will have a better day today for feeling good about your achievement last night - and I'm one of them. Thank you! I feel very proud, and chuffed to bits for you all!
Rachel Mighall, UK

Living in Switzerland and watching the final go to the last stone was utterly riveting. Even my Swiss neighbours got excited! What great control and focus Rhona Martin showed - she's just pushed curling in to the public eye as the great game it is. Congratulations from the ex-pats.
Gerry Flanagan, Switzerland

Way to go Rhona and team Britain. I am a Canadian fan but congratulations too you all and savour the moment. Yours truly, Sir Paul Grove.
Sir Paul Grove, Canada

The one thing you girls have taught the whole nation is never give up. You are hero's and rightly so. Congratulations!
Peter Fewkes, England

I just wanted to congratulate you all on an absolutely superb performance last night. I've been following your progress throughout the games and maybe now I can get to bed early!
Louise, UK

WHAT A GREAT NIGHT FOR UK CURLING! Congratulations from all at Preston Curling Club, Lancashire.
David Kerr, ENGLAND

"A great moment to eclipse David Beckham's free kick against Greece"
Mike Burn, UK

As a Scot this was an incredible achievement. I am sure I am not the only one who stayed up until 1am for the match and then went to bed and set my alarm for 3am for the medal ceremony. Well done girls!!
David Lees, Belgium

A great moment to eclipse David Beckham's free kick against Greece - will go down in history as one of the coolest finishes to seal sporting triumph at the very last moment. Woke the kids up with my shouting.
Mike Burn, UK

WELL DONE GIRLS! I was having a few beers in my local in Zurich last night (a place of beer and football). As the evening wore on more and more heads were turned to the TV in the corner until for the final few ends the place was almost silent. The cheer that went up on the last stone was something that I would never have expected, but everyone was chuffed to bits.
Jonathan King, Switzerland (Brit)

I've been converted! It was nailbiting stuff! Well done girls! What a cool head Rhona Martin had to win with the last stone of the match.
Michael Clancy, England

Congratulations. As a Scot living in England, I constantly get grief about Scottish soccer etc. Now I can payback. You make me proud to be Scottish.
Dave Burden, England

"You're our real-life flowers of Scotland"
Ken, East Lothian

I never saw the last stone as I was hiding behind the sofa! I should have had more faith. A fantastic performance by our bonnie lassies.
Roger Bainbridge, Scotland

Ya beauties! You're our real-life flowers of Scotland.
Ken, East Lothian

Well done girls! Great work. Let's now hope that more facilities become available nationwide to allow more people to play, and aim to continue are success.
Damien, England

One word sums up the final: "Spellbinding"
Chris Rowe, UK

Well done from everyone at Lockerbie Primary School.
Alice Spence, Scotland

Well done, a fantastic victory! And a good thing no officials spotted the saltires on your brooms!
Ruaraidh Gillies, UK

Great job girls and team GB! My wife and I were one of the millions watching and hoping for you all. Getting up today was hard work too! Make sure BA gives you an upgrade on the way home! Congratulations from everybody here at work at Budget Rent a Car.
Steve Goodland, UK

Congratulations to Rhona and the Scottish team on winning Olympic Gold! I had faith in you and knew you could do it, you showed such coolness under pressure and self-belief, well done.

"Nerves of steel and rocks of gold - a winning combination"
Chris Matthews, Japan

Thanks also to Kirsty Hay and her excellent summary for the BBC, maybe the English will get the hang of the rules sometime, let's have more curling on primetime TV, anyone for curling and DIY or curling and cookery themed TV shows.
Erik Zoha, Scotland

Well done ladies! That has to be one of the most exciting sporting occasions ever!
David Richards, Hove, UK

Yes, yes yes! Nerves of steel and rocks of gold - a winning combination. A wonderful team performance.
Chris Matthews, Japan

Well done on achieving gold. You have captured the imagination of the whole nation.
Liz Archibald, Scotland

Well done on your curling gold medals. As a Brit myself living in Canada, and a Canadian citizen, it sometimes makes it tough to decide which team to support. I'm pleased that Britain has finally won gold after 18 years.
Rob Poyner, Canada

Hey! It's the Golden Girls! Congratulations on your Gold Medal - have a great celebration party - you deserve it so much! (Mine's an Irn Bru)
Anna Larkin, UK

Congratulations on a superb victory and sealing the gold medal. Quite an emotional final and to use a pun "the icing on the cake" of a tremendous display over the piece. I'll remember it for years...well done.
John McGroarty, Belgium

What a moment in time. I want to watch that last stone over and over again. Simply wonderful.
David Warner, England


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