IT WAS an inconvenience for most of the country, but for a select group of Irish sportswomen the big freeze two winters ago has proven a godsend.
Our European cross-country champions revealed that training through that harsh winter prepared them for the conditions they encountered in Hungary at the weekend.
Fionnuala Britton, from Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, made sporting history after winning the individual gold medal for the second consecutive year.
A slippery snow-covered course and sub-zero temperatures failed to hold her back as she finished first in 27:45, two seconds ahead of runner-up Portugal's Ana Dulce Felix.
"We all ran in the snow two years ago and I suppose that was good practice for us," Ms Britton told the Irish Independent.
But what she wasn't prepared for was winning a gold medal for the second year in a row.
"To get across the line first and see all the girls behind me was just the best feeling ever," she said after Ireland also took the team gold.
Britton and her colleagues were welcomed home as heroes at Dublin Airport. Tears of joy streamed down the faces of the women's team as dozens of friends, family and supporters cheered their arrival last night.