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Friday 28 April 2017

Emotional welcome as heroes return from Special Olympics

Skiability Special Olympics Club member Cyril Walker from Markethill, Co Armagh, is welcomed home by his sister Annette McMahon at Dublin Airport yesterday Photo: Damien Eagers
Skiability Special Olympics Club member Cyril Walker from Markethill, Co Armagh, is welcomed home by his sister Annette McMahon at Dublin Airport yesterday Photo: Damien Eagers

Rory Tevlin

The returning Special Olympics heroes got a welcome their superb medal tally deserved at Dublin Airport.

After securing eight medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, the athletes were all smiles as they touched down on home soil. CEO of Special Olympics Ireland Matt English said everyone was blown away by the reception.

Fellow Skiability Special Olympics Club members Sean McCartan, left, from Carryduff, Co Antrim, and Caolan McConville, from Aghagallon, Co Armagh, with their medal haul
Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Fellow Skiability Special Olympics Club members Sean McCartan, left, from Carryduff, Co Antrim, and Caolan McConville, from Aghagallon, Co Armagh, with their medal haul Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

"People came from right across the country to be there in person to recognise the immense achievements of our athletes," he said.

"They were there not just to support our athletes but the whole of Team Ireland - the coaches, assistant coaches, the medical team and volunteers.

"Every one of them put in so much effort, not just during the games but in the several months leading up to the games."

Mr English said that after another successful games, attention now turns to Abu Dhabi in 2019.

Lorraine Whelan, from Delgany, Co Wicklow, celebrates her gold and silver medals with her parents Brendan and Marie. Photo: Damien Eagers
Lorraine Whelan, from Delgany, Co Wicklow, celebrates her gold and silver medals with her parents Brendan and Marie. Photo: Damien Eagers

"From Special Olympics Ireland's point of view, the show goes on. We are preparing for the next World Games - the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi - the journey to these games has already begun," he said.

Irish Independent

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