Lucas Cumiskey, PA
Wed, 8 June 2022, 3:54 pm
Olympic champion Eve Muirhead chatted to the Prince of Wales about curling matches at Balmoral in Scotland as she collected an MBE and OBE at Windsor Castle.
Ms Muirhead, who won a curling gold medal while captaining Team GB at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, had the honours conferred on her by the Prince of Wales at a Windsor Castle investiture on Wednesday.
An array of other sports stars, including Paralympic champions such as canoeist Laura Sugar and cyclist Jaco van Gass, were honoured at the same event.
Ms Muirhead told the PA news agency: “It went really well and it was actually a really exciting moment to receive my OBE alongside my MBE, as I recently got upgraded to OBE, and the chance to receive them together was really special.
“And to get the chance to speak to Charles and he knew a lot about curling, which is always nice, yeah, it’s a very special day, a lot of great memories.
“He (Charles) just spoke about where I started curling and where I train now and then he spoke a little bit about curling in Balmoral because there is a lot of outside curling up there.
“So he knew a lot about it in terms of Balmoral, obviously they have a lot of connections there, so it was nice that he reflected on that.”
Balmoral Castle, nestled on a large estate in Aberdeenshire, is the royal family’s Scottish holiday home.
Veteran Mr van Gass, who lost his left arm in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Afghanistan in 2009, collected an MBE for services to cycling after winning two gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Mr van Gass was among the injured servicemen who trekked in the Arctic with the Duke of Sussex to raise money for the Walking With The Wounded charity in 2011, and said he spoke to Charles about this.
He told PA: “I was obviously extremely fortunate to have attended Prince Harry’s wedding here at Windsor, and I made him (Charles) aware I obviously know Harry really well having walked to the North Pole with him, he remembered that feat.”
On Harry, Mr van Gass added: “It is still amazing to see him being active and having gone recently to the Invictus Games in The Hague, it was good to see him there.”
He added: “It is a great honour to represent cycling and to receive this honour but I think as a Paralympian and the Paralympic sport we would love to see more recognition of the sport and all sports, more visibility within the public eye and in television and perhaps even integration with some of the able-body competitions and events.”
Ms Sugar, who won a paracanoe gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, told PA: “It was lovely to receive an MBE for something I just enjoy doing and feel privileged to do, and His Royal Highness was very smiley and chatty, which felt very welcoming.”