Athletes take home medals and magical memories
THE medals have been handed out but for the 1,500 participants the memory of the 2014 Special Olympics national games lives on.
The games ended in Limerick yesterday with a colourful closing ceremony, including a parade of athletes.
Tallaght's Kerry Adams (26) said her favourite moment from four magical days was probably winning her medal.
Kerry was part of the five-a-side Eastern Region ladies' soccer team. "It was brilliant," she said. When asked to pick her highlights, she said: "The opening ceremony, the parade, my silver medal and the Healthy Athletes programme."
It was well worth Shauna Murphy's time to travel from her home in Newry, Co Down to Limerick for the games.
Team Ulster took home more than 200 gold, silver and bronze medals including the gold medal won by Shauna (34) in the five-a-side Division 2 ladies' final.
What she's looking forward to most is going into St Peter's school in Cloughrea today where she works and showing that medal off.
She was cheered on in Limerick by her mum and dad, Ann and Roger.
"It was my first time at the Special Olympics and I loved the atmosphere," said Shauna, who was a little bit sad to be leaving but looking forward to showing off her medal.
Fionn Angus (18) from Mountshannon in Co Clare was not at the Special Olympics to compete but to entertain the crowd.
The violinist is a regular busker and was enjoying the games as a musician.
"When people throw a coin in I get a sense of being famous here," he said.
Organisers will now look at the winners in the 14 sports that included soccer, table tennis, kayaking, horse-riding, bocce and athletics.
Some 100 athletes from the games will go to LA next year as Team Ireland in the Special Olympics World Games.