Olympic lightweight champion Kellie Harrington is making her way home today: Here’s what you need to know
The Dubliner follows Katie Taylor in 2012 to win gold after lightweight showdown victory over Beatriz Ferreira on Sunday.
10th Aug 2021
Harrington is, in the words of President Micheal D Higgins, “an inspiration to us all.”
Kellie Harrington cemented her place in history by becoming the second Irish woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing and only the third in any sport after Katie Taylor and Michelle Smith de Bruin. She was a nuanced, patient fighter, drawing her opponent out, and the judges scored her the winner by unanimous decision, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27.
The Olympic champion is making her way home right now, expected to jump on an open-top bus with her family at 5pm on Clonliffe House pub. She’s going to make her way back to her home on Portland Row via Summerhill. It’ll then loop round to Sean McDermott Street before bringing her back to Portland Row again.
Unfortunately due to Covid-19 restrictions, she won’t be able to get off the bus at all and only locals are being asked to line the streets for her return. However, people are finding their own way to celebrate the champion with the streets already covered in tricolours and bunting, bollards are being sprayed gold. An Post have even given the local post box a make-over, spraying it gold with the words “Congratulations Kellie” written across it.
A lovely welcome home tribute by #anpost for our gold Olympic winning boxer Kellie Harrington ?? who returns home tomorrow from Tokyo! This letter box is situated very near where she lives in Dublin City centre. #kellieharrington#WelcomeHome #egansguesthouse #gold #boxing pic.twitter.com/HyWsEI1Bjz
— EgansHouse.ie (@EgansHouse1) August 9, 2021
It’s also been suggested that Kellie, who has worked as a cleaner in St. Vincent’s Psychiatric Hospital for the past number of years, receive the freedom of the city with councillors discussing it.
It is, the athlete says, “the stuff of dreams” as she thanked the country for supporting her on her Olympic journey while still in Tokyo.
“This is the stuff of dreams”
An emotional and joyous @Kelly64kg has been reacting to her #Tokyo2020 gold medal win #Olympics #RTESport
? Watch live – https://t.co/yeoFtHU1S3
? Updates – https://t.co/0gOUdPX1p1 pic.twitter.com/BZigBW2MpS
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 8, 2021
“It’s just fantastic,” she told RTÉ Sport. “I knew no matter what happened out here, whether it was gold, silver or whatever, I knew I’d made myself proud and I know I’m making the people of Ireland proud regardless of the colour of the medal.”
“My warmest congratulations to Kellie Harrington on winning her gold medal at the Olympic Games. Hers is an exceptional achievement, and she is an inspiration for us all.” #Tokyo2020 @sportireland @TeamIreland
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) August 8, 2021
“There have been times in my career when people say the whole country is behind you. This time I really, really feel the whole country is behind me,” she said.
At the end, her expression was one of disbelief, as she fell to her knees victorious.
“Just being here and putting our little nation on the map, this is the stuff of dreams.”