Eve Muirhead revealed it was a "dream come true" after Great Britain's women's curling team battled back from semi-final disappointment to win Winter Olympic bronze against Switzerland in Sochi.
GB had to pick themselves up after losing to Canada in the Ice Cube Curling Center on Wednesday, with the defeat leaving the all-Scottish rink devastated and vice-skip Anna Sloan in tears.
After a slow start against the Swiss, Muirhead rallied her troops to win 6-5 in the last end to secure the medal that at least equals GB's best-ever Winter Olympic medal haul of 1924 - four - with the men's curling final against Canada to come on Friday.
It was the first Olympic medal for the women curlers since their coach Rhona Howie - then Rhona Martin - skipped GB to gold at Salt Lake City in 2002.
And Muirhead said: "What a dream come true. The Olympic medal was the one medal we have been missing and for me to win it with four of my best friends seems so special.
"That shows what great athletes we are. Every athlete needs to learn how to lose before they can win.
"First, they need to learn how to get up from defeat. To lose the semi-final and know you have to come back and play for that bronze medal is extra tough and, for us, it showed how strong we are.
"We regrouped and came out fighting, and I knew we still had a chance to get a medal. I'm super-happy. I'm delighted."
Vicki Adams was "still in shock" minutes after the final end, but was clear as to how well GB had worked to set up the dramatic finish, which allowed Muirhead to slide in a final shot to take the medal.
She said: "I feel absolutely amazing. I knew if we went into the last end with the hammer we could pull it out.
"We played the end the best we could.
"Eve played a fantastic shot at the end, after Claire (Hamilton) played two fantastic shots.
"We couldn't have set it up any better and for Eve to have a four-foot draw at the end was great."
Sloan also admitted the semi-final defeat by Canada had left the team "devastated, there is no doubt about it".
However, she reiterated the sense of togetherness within Muirhead's group which ensured that they would not return from Russia empty-handed.
"I think it shows the team spirit and the support we have for each other to come back from that loss, pick ourselves up and get ready for today's game, because there was no way we were going to leave without a medal," she said.
"We all wanted it so bad. We wanted the gold, there is no doubt about that, but it shows the spirit to make sure we go home with a medal and a bronze medal feels amazing right now.
"It was hard to pick ourselves up but that's curling, things happen like that.
"But we knew if we put in a performance like yesterday and more, then we would get a win.
"We were patient and really calm. We knew coming down the last with the hammer that we had a pretty good chance if everyone took that extra second and played their shots.
"We've worked so hard over the three years and I truly think we've deserved that medal. I'm so proud of the girls."