Olympians enjoy glorious end to Athens gold rush
IRELAND'S Special Olympics athletes proved they still have the midas touch as they added to their already impressive medal haul on the final day of the competition.
As the Summer Games in Athens drew to a close, the 126 competitors and their supporters were preparing to return home to a heroes' welcome at Dublin Airport tomorrow afternoon.
Special Olympics athlete Diarmuid O'Leary, from Cork, and basketball coach Michael Lynch, from Roscommon, will represent Team Ireland at this evening's closing ceremony and parade to officially mark the end of the games.
The athletes' stellar performance continued up to the final event, with the men's bowling team -- comprising Michael Hardiman from Dublin, Jonathan Griffin from Galway, Paul Bridgman from Cork and Ciaran Mallon from Down -- taking gold in the competition.
In table tennis, Mary O'Brien from Wexford, and Carole Catling from Antrim, won gold in the women's doubles event, beating their German opponents by a 2-0 scoreline.
Belfast woman, Una McGarry, continued the dominance as she took a gold, silver and three bronze medals for her rhythmic gymnastics routine.