Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mike Hay on the GB hot seat as chef de mission in Sochi

Longtime curlers will recognize the name Mike Hay, part of the Scottish family that has been at the forefront of the sport for the better part of half a century. Of course Mike's father is Chuck, the first Scottish skip to win the world championship. 

Mike was the fifth wheel  player on David Smith's world championship rink in 1991 and has been hanging around curling for many years. He served as coach to Rhona Martin's gold medal team in 2002 and, partly as a result, received an MBE.

Now, Hay is going to head u the GB team at the Sochi Olympics as the Chef de Mission. And, as this story in The Scotsman points out, he'll be there to ensure the athletes are kept safe, no small mission this time around.

His job is to ensure that the athletes and those who support them want for nothing, least of all a secure and comfortable environment in which to produce their best, even if that has been cast into doubt by the recent suicide attacks, which killed 31 people in Volgograd, about 400 miles from Sochi. 
“Obviously it is a concern for us, but we’re pretty confident that the Russians will be making sure that the Olympic Games are as safe as possible,” says Hay. “We live in the real world – there is no 100 per cent guarantee – but we will be seeking assurances that absolutely everything is being done. And everything we have seen from the Russians to this point would give us a lot of confidence.”
Of course Hay's's brother, David, is the coach of Eve Muirhead's world championship rink that will be favoured to win gold in Sochi. No doubt the Games will be a big event for the brothers.

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