Paul in line for place at Brazil games
Published 21/08/2013 | 05:36
A MOYVANE man who took up hand-cycling only a year ago is already in contention for a place on the Irish squad to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil.
Paraplegic hand-cyclist Paul O'Flaherty was announced in this week's line-up of athletes under the Cadbury's-sponsored 'Fast Track' campaign for the 2016 games.
Paul has been confined to a wheelchair ever since sustaining a spinal injury in a car crash at the Six Crosses near Listowel 11 years ago. However, he didn't let his disability get the better of him and burst right out of the traps when he started the sport of hand-cycling just one year ago.
Paul is already the current category leader of the Invacare National Paracycling Time Trial League.
His inspiration came from following the amazing career of Irish gold medallist in the London 2012 paralympics Mark Rohan. Paul's inclusion in the 'Fast Track' team was even more special this week as he got to launch it with his sporting hero Mark as well as Mark's fellow gold medal winner Michael McKillop.
"The success of the 2012 Irish Paralympic Team triggered huge admiration and national pride," CEO Paralympics Ireland Liam Harbison said, adding: "We are planning for Rio 2016 and we hope that some of these athletes can earn selection for the Irish team."