Friday 30 September 2016

Annalise enjoys ice cream for breakfast before hero's welcome home from Rio

Published 24/08/2016 | 02:30

Annalise Murphy is welcomed home by her grandmother Betty Murphy at Dublin Airport yesterday. Photo: Sportsfile
Annalise Murphy is welcomed home by her grandmother Betty Murphy at Dublin Airport yesterday. Photo: Sportsfile

Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy celebrated her victory at the Rio Olympics with ice cream for breakfast.

  • Go To

After sticking to a strict low calorie diet over the past four months as she prepared for the Olympics, the 26-year-old Rathfarnham sailor tucked into a tub of Ben and Jerry's chocolate ice cream as she awaited her flight home from Rio yesterday with her proud family at her side.

And after four years of doing nothing but focusing on realising her lifelong dream of winning an Olympic medal, she deservedly savoured every mouthful.

"The last four years have been all about Rio," she said of the intense preparation getting to know the weather and geographical conditions on Guanabara Bay before finishing second in the women's Laser Radial event. "I knew I had to be on a diet for the last four months, although I wasn't very good at it," she said. "But when you achieve your dreams, the little sacrifices don't matter as much."

Annalise was speaking at Dublin Airport yesterday where she received a hero's welcome.

Draped in a Tricolour and flanked by her proud parents Cathy and Con, the down-to-earth athlete revealed that achieving her lifelong dream of winning an Olympic medal did actually seem like a dream.

The silver medalist with her parents Cathy and Con. Photo: Tony Gavin
The silver medalist with her parents Cathy and Con. Photo: Tony Gavin

"The next day I woke up and thought I'd have to do it all over again," she said.

Elite

But it was a dream come true for the member of the National Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire who has been focusing on Olympic glory since she was a teenager.

When she first started training as an elite athlete, a sports psychologist asked her to draw a picture of herself in the future, her sister Claudine told the Irish Independent. "Annalise drew a picture of herself when she was 16 with a gold medal around her neck. That's just one example of how single-minded she is," said Claudine.

But her hard work and dedication paid off when she was in the final leg of the medal race - and in the same position from which it went agonisingly wrong in London 2012, when she came in fourth - and she knew she had clinched a medal.

"I was just so happy when I got to the final windward mark of the medal race. I knew that I was going to get at least the silver," she said. "I was just so happy I couldn't think properly. It was a dream come true."

But she admitted she wasn't so sure herself when she began her training for Rio four years ago that she would actually win Ireland's first sailing medal in 36 years. "I've always thought over the past four years that my best was in London," she said.

And those niggling doubts weren't helped by naysayers in the "sailing world who told me I wouldn't be able to do it".

However, she said the support from the people of Ireland had been "incredible" - including her parents and siblings Claudine and Finn who accompanied her to Brazil.

It's too early to say whether Annalise is setting her sights on the Toyko 2020 Olympics.

But she said she hopes her success won't change her.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport