West Cork Boys Win Silver
Ireland in Rio 2016
Team Ireland were led into the Macaranã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro by boxer Paddy Barnes. Barnes is the only Irish athlete to have ever won medals in consecutive Olympic Games. He won Bronze in Beijing in 2008 and again in London 2012. Ireland’s Olympic hopefuls were midway in the Parade of Nations, which is a procession of every competing nation – all 207 of them!
There are four main areas hosting the volume of events are Maracanã, Copacabana, Barra di Tijuna and Deodoro. These are clearly visible in the map below, which also show the sports events for those locations.
Ireland’s Olympic History
Ireland first competed as a nation in the 1924 Olympic Games. Previous to that Irish athletes competed under the Great Britain flag. Since 1924 Ireland has won a total of 29 Olympic medals; 9 Gold medals, 8 Silver medals, 12 Bronze medals. These were won for swimming, athletics, boxing, sailing and equestrian.
Ireland won the most medals at the Olympics in London 2012; they won six medals. Of the six medals, boxing earned four of them. Katie Taylor won the only Olympic Gold medal in the Women’s Lightweight competition. John Joe Nevin earned the only Silver medal in the Men’s Bantamweight. Boxing brought home two Bronze medals. Paddy Barnes, of consecutive Olympic Games medals’ fame, won Bronze in the Light Flyweight division. Michael Conlon won the fourth Bronze medal in the Flyweight division. Cian O’Connor and his horse, Blue Lloyd 12, won Bronze medal for his performance in the Individual Show jumping competition. And last but by no means least, is Cork-man Rob Heffernan. Rob Heffernan brought home a Bronze medal for his event, the 50km walk.
Team Ireland has a team of over 70 athletes who will compete in 13 sports. Additionally, there is host of support staff and coaches travelling with Team Ireland. The sports are:
Athletics 9 men & 9 women
Badminton 1 man & 1 woman
Boxing 7 men & 1 woman
Cycling 2 men & 1 woman
Swimming 3 men & 1 woman
Golf 2 men & 2 women
Gymnastics 1 man & 1 woman
Hockey 19 men
Pentathlon 1man & 1 woman
Rowing 2 men & 3 women
Sailing 3 men & 3 women
Triathlon 1 man & 1 woman
Ireland’s Olympic Cork links
Rob Heffernan is a Cork man, born and bred. His Bronze medal performance in London 2012 showed his grit and endurance to finish strongly. The Cork man has not only been training hard himself, coached by his wife Marian, he has also been coach and mentor to the other walkers in Team Ireland. He is a strong hopeful for a medal in Rio 2016.
Three other athletes from Cork are all members of Leevale Athletics: Michelle Finn, 3000m. Lizzie Lee, marathon. Alex Wright, 20km walk. These three are all dedicated athletes and have worked their socks off competing to qualify for the Olympics in Rio. We will have to wait and see how they get on.
On the water Ireland has the West Cork brothers Paul and Gary O’Donovan in the Lightweight Double Sculls. The Lisheen boys have had a solid competition year in advance of the Olympics. They placed second, fourth and fourth in the World Cup Events they competed in.
Silver for Rowing but Gold in Intervierws
West Cork Boys win Silver in Rio
The O’Donovan brothers, Paul and Gary, have earned themselves a pair of Olympic Silver medals in the Lightweight Double Sculls. They were pipped by the French duo by less than a second! And the icing on the cake is that this is the first time Ireland has ever won an Olympic medal for rowing.
According to the lads they were heading for a pizza after their heroic win but that ‘shteak and shpuds’ was their favourite dinner. I am full sure the mammy will be only too delighted to serve them up a ‘shteak and shpuds’ dinner on their return to Skibbereen. After all, the grit and determination it took to qualify, let alone compete and then win silver deserves at least their favourite dinner!
After their historic win, President Michael D Higgins was one of the first to pay tribute to the boys.
“On behalf of the people of Ireland, I want to congratulate Paul and Gary O’Donovan on winning a silver medal today, Ireland’s first ever Olympic rowing medal.”
What a fantastic day for the Irish Boys in the Boat!
- firstname.lastname@example.org (caitriona hurley)