May 16, 2007

Olympic Dryburghs to be honoured in Aviemore

Around half of the £40,000 needed for a monument honouring Badenoch and Strathspey athletes who have competed in the Olympics has been raised, according to the Strathspey Herald. If fundraising is successful then the monument will be unveiled later this year in the centre of Aviemore.

The area boasts a higher percentage of home-grown Olympians per head of population than any other part of Britain. Fourteen have represented their country at the Games over the years. These include brothers Douglas and James Dryburgh who represented GB at the Nagano Olympics in 1998. The other names which will be inscribed on a bronze plaque on the monument are Ian Finlayson (skiing), Peter Fuchs (skiing), Roddy Langmuir (skiing), Sean Langmuir (skiing), Ewan MacKenzie (Nordic skiing), Louise MacKenzie (Nordic skiing), Ingrid Grant (skiing), Alain Baxter (skiing), Andrew Freshwater (skiing), Craig MacLean (cycling), Noel Baxter (skiing), and Lesley McKenna (snowboarding).

Somewhat ironically, James Dryburgh (shown above in Hugh Stewart's photo from the Worlds in Edmonton) now competes for Sweden. Playing third for Peja Lindholm, Dryburgh and his teammates defeated Scotland in the round robin. Afterwards he was quoted in the official WCF press release as saying, "I'm Swedish, and that's the end of it. I'm married to a Swedish girl, I'm living there for the rest of my life, I speak Swedish and I'm never going back to Scotland. There comes a time when you make life decisions like that, and I've made mine."

A sculpture, featuring three bronze statues representing the Olympic ideals of 'Faster, Higher, Stronger', will be topped by a torch bearing the Olympic flame, with the five Olympic rings marked out by stones in front. The base will be a block of granite.

Donations can still be sent to The Secretary, ACE (Olympian Fund) Account, 12 Morlich Place, Aviemore PH22 1TH. All donations will be acknowledged and donors will be invited to the unveiling ceremony.

1 comment:

Gorth said...

A credit to the Highland tradition of producing Champion Curlers