Jan 31 2013 by Andrew McGilvray, Hamilton Advertiser
Hamilton curling ace Kyle Waddell has set his sights on one day becoming Olympic champion.
But first he’s targeting World Junior Championship success in Russia.
The 19-year-old was part of a team that retained their Scottish Junior Championships crown at Aberdeen last weekend, qualifying them for the prestigious tournament in Sochi, from February 28 to March 10.
Skip Kyle Smith’s team, which featured Waddell, Thomas Muirhead and Cameron Smith, defeated Grant Hardie’s team 5-4 in the final, having finished second in round-robin standings and then triumphing 9-2 in their play-off game.
Kyle, an HND sports coaching student at City of Glasgow College, said: “I was very pleased; it’s a good feeling to be champion and it means I get to represent Scotland again.
“We’re going to Sochi in Russia next month, which is where the Winter Olympics will be held in 2014, so that’s exciting.
“I’ve never been to Russia before, but I’ve been told it’s a very interesting country, so I’m looking forward to it.
“Last year in Sweden was brilliant and we won bronze.
“This year we’re aiming for gold, the same as you would in any other tournament, but to win any medal would be great.
“It’s a realistic aim to go for gold, and we can get one of the medals, at least.
“It would be disappointing for us if we didn’t, having won bronze last year.
“If we were to win gold it would be the realisation of a dream I’ve had for a very long time, and it’s the best I could hope for at the moment.
“My ultimate aim is to get to the Olympics and to be Olympic champion – that would be amazing.”
Kyle has heritage on his side for those aims, as his gran and grandpa are Isobel and Jimmy Waddell, who themselves enjoyed considerable success in curling.
Jimmy was part of the Scotland men’s team that won the European Championships in, Varese, Italy, in 1979, while Isobel picked up a bronze medal as part of the Scotland ladies’ team at the Denmark World Championships in 1982.
That provided inspiration for Kyle, who said: “I’ve been curling for 11 years, since I was eight, and I started because my gran and granpa were curling champions themselves.”
Kyle has also received a lot of support from his college as he embarks on the chance of World Championship glory.
He said: “They were pretty good last year when I was in Sweden and they’ve been good again this year.
“They’ve supported me and told me that it’s fine to go, but I will need to take some work with me, as we’re away for so long.”
Next up for Kyle is the Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish Men’s Curling Championship, the highlight of the competitive calendar, at Dewar’s Sports Centre, Perth, from February 11-17, where Kyle hopes for at least a semi-final place.