Hailey aiming to knit her way into Winter Olympic history

Tom Daley’s knitting took Tokyo 2020 by storm and curling’s crochet queen Hailey Duff is now aiming to similarly stitching her name in British Olympic folklore.

Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 11:32am
Hailey aiming to knit her way into Winter Olympic history

Forfar ace Duff, 24, has been selected in Team GB’s five-strong women’s rink for Beijing 2022 after booking her place in a nerve-shredding qualifying event in the Netherlands.

Duff, skip Eve Muirhead, Vicky Wright, who is also from Forfar, Jennifer Dodds and alternate Mili Smith will be the team tasked with bettering Britain’s Sochi 2014 bronze when they descend on the Chinese capital in February.

Diving star Daley, who won 10m synchro gold alongside Matty Lee in Japan last summer, went viral with his love of knitting away from the board and Olympic debutant Duff hopes her parallel passion can bring about similar success on the ice.

Asked if she can be Team GB’s Daley equivalent at Beijing 2022, Duff said: “Maybe – you never know!

“I crochet at home a little bit to calm myself down. I don’t take it away with me as much (as Tom) – but it’s just something I do at home by myself.

“It feels amazing to be selected. It’s always been a dream to compete at the Olympics and for Great Britain, so it’s such a big honour to have actually been selected as part of Team GB and to see what we can do out in Beijing.

“As soon as I started taking curling seriously, it’s always been something I really wanted to do. It’s always been such a big dream – for it to have actually happened feels quite crazy.”

Team Muirhead were crowned European champions in Lillehammer at the end of last year before battling through a thrilling Dutch Olympic qualifier to book their place on the plane.

After losing their first two matches, the Scots reeled off five wins on the spin to catapult themselves into contention ahead of Turkey’s crunch clash with Japan.

Muirhead’s rink could hardly watch but after the Turks edged out an 8-5 victory, their place in Beijing was secure.

And Duff, one of over 1000 athletes who are able to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support thanks to vital National Lottery funding, said: “We’re a new team, but we’ve also got some well-known members.
“We’ve obviously got Eve, while Jen and Vicky have been playing for a couple of years as well. I think we should be good for Beijing if we just keep going the way we’re going.

“We’ve got a few little things to learn to make sure we’re on top of where we want to be – we need to keep ourselves safe, be sensible and look after ourselves.

“It will be quite a nervous moment but I’ll be super proud to be there.”
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