5 March 2018
Ewan: "That medal... it’s up there with having kids or getting married"
Losing more than 20kg of weight and driving nearly four hours to training each day, Gregor Ewan has certainly earned his place at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
A bronze medallist from Sochi 2014, the Elgin wheelchair curler has far from rested on his laurels in pursuit of more honours, rewarded with a second chance to represent ParalympicsGB.
The feeling of a podium place was something very special for the 46-year-old but with changes aplenty both on and off the ice, there’s a sense of determination at wanting even more.
"They were good experiences but I still think we can do better from Sochi"
But for now Ewan has the opportunity to revel – at least in the days leading up to opening ceremony – in a selection he never took for granted.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, until that moment you get the phone call to say you’re off to PyeongChang, you’re fighting every day,” he said.
“You’re in the gym, you’re on ice as much as you possibly can be and for me that involves travelling up and down the road, from Moray to Stirling, so it’s hard going but we’ve made it.
“When we came back from Sochi we debriefed about what we could have done better and what we let ourselves down on and for me it was nutrition.
“I let myself down really badly on that going to Sochi, so this year I’ve worked really hard on that and I’ve lost 23kg – it definitely made a big difference to me, even just transferring the quality of life.
“They were good experiences but I still think we can do better from Sochi, hopefully we can go out there and prove it.”
"That medal... it’s up there with having kids or getting married"
Walking with a limp since his teenage years, Ewan’s condition over time deteriorated causing a curvature to the spine before he one day collapsed to the ground.
That was aged 35 and, just a few months later, a friend tried to get him to start wheelchair curling, the Elgin athlete holding firm until giving it a go years later.
It’s a decision that proved a masterstroke, joining up with Aileen Neilson, Angie Malone, Rob McPherson and Hugh Nibloe to take World Championship bronze in PyeongChang last year.
That offset what had been a troublesome period with relegation for the Scottish team, though nothing could overshadow the memories Ewan has already cherished on the ice.
"We’re definitely a lot happier team and there’s a lot of work that’s got us to where we are"
Eyes on the prize
“Going out there and getting that medal put around your neck brings no better feeling, it’s up there with having kids or getting married, it’s something that I’ll always remember for the rest of my life,” he said.
“The medal is in a cabinet right beside the TV, I’ve kept it at the front so I can see what I’m aiming for, can see what I’m driving for, I can be off to the gym and have a quick glance at that and remember what it’s all about.
“I’ll be happy with any medal, but we’re definitely a lot happier team and there’s a lot of work that’s got us to where we are.
“We got a bronze medal at the World Championships but despite doing that we know that doesn’t mean we’re going to get the same or better at the Paralympic Games.
“We’ve still got to fight for it and we’ve still got to push it, otherwise we won’t get anywhere.”
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