Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Michael McCreadie quits international stage

Scotland's Michael McCreadie has announced his resignation from international competition.

"I am no longer a member of the World Class Performance Squad," he told me. "Since the summer, although playing reasonably well and achieving some good results in International competitions, my heart wasn't in it any more - the enjoyment had gone. It was not an easy decision to make. I had to do what was best for me and ultimately the squad.

"I wish the coach and the squad every success in the future." 

Tony Zummack, the national coach, responded: "I do feel that Michael McCreadie will continue to be involved and support wheelchair curling in the future. I respect his decision to retire from international competition and also respect the time and commitment he made to the National Program."

Michael, 65, was a member of the Scottish team that contested the first World Championship in Switzerland, 2002, where he won a bronze medal playing 2nd under Frank Duffy. He won gold medals playing 3rd at the 2004 and 2005 Worlds, and was the British flag bearer in Torino in 2006 where he won silver.

He followed Duffy into retirement after the crushing last rock Torino defeat, but was soon back and skipped his country to bronze at the 2007 Worlds, a success that eluded his teams the following 3 years.

After the Vancouver Paralympics, where he skipped but threw 3rd stones, he announced he would take a year off. He returned this season, but with the Scottish team committed to his partner Eileen Neilson at skip after her silver medal at the 2011 Worlds, his role was to skip Scotland's B team. That is the position he has now quit.

Zummack is not immediately replacing him. "I am keeping the National Squad at 7 athletes and have had some of our development athletes come in to train and play with us and will have someone in place for the Lanarkshire International." (Jan 17-18)

Michael McCreadie played in 72 World Curling Federation events, ending with a 45-27 record, 2 gold and 2 bronze Worlds medals and a Paralympic silver medal.

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