Ireland has done a truly fantastic job at the Special Olympics this year. In Los Angeles this week, Team Ireland has brought home a haul of 86 medals, taking home an incredible 16 on the final day of the games. With 88 athletes taking part on behalf of the country, it’s an incredible achievement.
Here’s a list of the people making us proud to be Irish this week:
Gymnast Kirsty Devlin from Belfast has won four medals – two gold and two silver. Her accomplishments don’t stop there – she secured fourth place in the ribbon category. Ashleigh O’Hagan from Limerick brought home two bronze in the Rhythmic Level 1 Gymnastics. And Corkonian Aoife O’Sullivan won one gold and two bronze medals.
Peter Maylnn, 57, won gold in bocce (a style of bowling). Our bowling team won bronze in the doubles event with Martina Walsh and Ruth Geerah succeeding there.
Frances Power from Navan, Country Meath won a gold medal in the singles Table Tennis.
Our swimmers have also been putting in a standout performance. Sean Coleman won silver in the 25m backstroke, and Gary McEnroe won bronze in the same competition. Sarah Jane Johnston won bronze in both the 100m freestyle and the 100m backstroke.
In the equestrian competitions, Dearbhail Savage, a mere 15-years-old, from Mowhan, Co Armagh won gold in her category while Elizabeth Mair from Rathfarnham, Dublin also took gold. Thomas Connolly of Coolaney, County Sligo won a silver medal and John Deevy will be bringing a bronze medal home to Kilmeadan, Co Waterford.
We also did fantastic in the athletics events. Last night Rachel Ryan, from Tipperary, came first in the 400m race. James Meenan of Dundalk secured bronze in the 200m.
There was strong team performances in basketball and soccer, along with medals in athletics, equestrian, gymnastics, badminton, bocce, aquatics and table tennis, all contributed to Team Ireland taking home six gold, five silver and five bronze medals on the last day. Speaking on the final day, Team Ireland CEO Matt English said each and every team member put in an extraordinary performance. “From medals, ribbon placements and personal bests, this has been one of the most successful World Games ever,” he said.
Over the course of the Games, Irish athletes claimed a total of 26 gold, 29 silver and 31 bronze medals. There were also 31 personal bests and 43 placement ribbons.
Well done to the entire team for what was an incredible achievement.