Behind the scenes: Getting to know...

Find out a little more about the athletes competing here at Le Gruyere European Curling Championships 2013 in this 'Getting to know...' series of interviews.

Photos: © WCF/Richard Gray/Jesse Kushneryk

Eve Muirhead

Scotland

Position: Skip/Fourth

Best moment in curling: Winning the World Championships last year. From such a young age that was one of my goals.

Pre-game rituals: Nothing too bad, we’ll do the same training and go through the same routine, but nothing like wearing the same socks over again!

Best thing about curling: I think it’s the social aspect. I’ve made so many friends in the sport and it’s great sport to travel the world.

Advice for beginners: Don’t just try once and give up. It’s such a fun sport and when you get involved it’ll make you want to stick.

How many hours are you training: We train about six hours a day on and off the ice, normally a couple of hours in the morning and a few in the evening.

What music do you listen to: Mostly it’s the latest chart stuff, when we’re warming up. What does the fox say!

Thomas Ulsrud

Norway

Position: Skip/Fourth

Best moment in curling: Probably ninth end against Switzerland in the Olympics in the semi-finals. I made a soft take out for two to seal the deal and get into the final of an Olympics. Sweet!

Pre-game rituals: I used to wear the same socks if I was winning. Then we went on a winning streak and the other guys were like “come on, get rid of them.”

Best thing about curling: It’s about getting four guys to work together. It’s a great feeling when everything clicks and everyone makes perfect shots - four guys become one.

Advice for beginners: Practice hard, there are no shortcuts. I’ve been practising so many times alone after everyone’s gone. You have to believe in yourself and believe in what you do.

How many hours are you training: We practice quite a lot, for me it’s an average two hours a day on ice. We also have some physical work in there as well. I do so much I think I should be better.

What music do you listen to: Since I’m an old guy, I have a good mix that ranges from AC/DC to Diana Ross.

Ekaterina Galkina

Russia

Position: Lead

Best moment in curling: Winning the European Championship twice and Winning the World Junior Championships in 2006.

Pre-game rituals: Everybody has their own rituals and superstitions but I like to keep mine a secret.

Best thing about curling: The sport is unique. It’s not about being the fastest or strongest, there’s a lot of different features and traits to be successful.

Advice for beginners: Just love the game and enjoy what you’re doing and you will be successful.

How many hours are you training: We have about two and a half hours worth of ice practice and spend about an hour doing fitness each day.

What music do you listen to: I do like the Norwegian band A-ha, so it’s probably a good opportunity to give a little nod to the host nation here.

Greg Drummond

Scotland

Position: Second

Best moment in curling: Competing in three World Championships, two of them were in Canada and I was lucky enough to play in a final in Regina.

Pre-game rituals: I usually go to the same spot in the dressing game before and after the game.

Best thing about curling: We get to go to so many different places, getting to do something you love with some friends for life.

Advice for beginners: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Curling is a way better sport than people make it out to be.

How many hours are you training: On the ice we can do two sessions a day on the ice, so that’s about 10 hours a week, then we do about three to five hours of fitness.

What music do you listen to: Rihanna

Maria Prytz

Sweden

Position: Fourth/Vice-Skip

Best moment in curling: It must have been winning my first World Championships in 2002, we were quite young and we came along way and did very well.

Pre-game rituals: We do a lot of warm up so we feel warm and hot before we go on the ice. We also do a lot of dancing.

Best thing about curling: It’s all about the strategy, the focus and the small details, I love the game.

Advice for beginners: Keep going and have patience, because if you really believe in yourself you can do a lot of good stuff.

How many hours are you training: We do this full time now so we have a lot of hours on the ice, we practice every day so the hours really add up.

What music do you listen to: Mostly Swedish music, one of my favourites is a band called Kent.

Sven Michel

Switzerland

Position: Skip/Fourth

Best moment in curling: Probably winning our first Swiss national title last year - that was a great experience. To reach the play-offs for the first time here is also amazing.

Pre-game rituals: If we win I try and do exactly the same thing before the next game.

Best thing about curling: The sport is great, it's four friends who can play with each other. The sport is also really fair as well.

Advice for beginners: The most important thing is to have fun and practice, practice, practice!

How many hours are you training: Now we are in the second season as professionals we work on the ice two hours a day, as well as a few hours off the ice.

What music do you listen to: I like to listen to all the latest chart music.

Sebastien Kraupp

Sweden

Position: Third

Best moment in curling: The Olympics in Vancouver.

Pre-game rituals: Just stretching and warming up for us.

Best thing about curling: It's a team sport but still an individual sport. You can make a bad shot a good one if you're a good team.

Advice for beginners: Just play some tournaments for fun with your friends.

How many hours are you training: We could be doing about 16 sessions a week, which would add up to 20/25 hours a week.

What music do you listen to: House music like Nero!

Lene Nielsen

Denmark

Position: Skip/Fourth

Best moment in curling: The Olympics in 2006 was an experience, but I think the highlight would be the World’s in my home country in 2011.

Pre-game ritual: Not really - we just do our warm up, play some ball and have a good laugh. We always talk with our coach before getting some time to stretch before the game.

Best thing about curling: The fact that it’s a team sport where the individual is so important and everyone has their own part to play.

Advice for beginners: Get at it, get really good and have some great experiences.

How many hours are you training: Right now it’s about twenty a week, we have full time jobs so it kind of limits the practice time.

What music do you listen to: I love a lot of different kinds of music, but mostly it’s pop and RnB stuff.

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