Sunday 11 December 2016

Team Ireland's 26 Olympians go for Alps gold

Published 21/11/2016 | 02:30

LJ Ryan (19) from Blanchardstown, who will compete in the floorball event at yesterday’s launch. Photo: Steve Humphreys
LJ Ryan (19) from Blanchardstown, who will compete in the floorball event at yesterday’s launch. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Special Olympians from Team Ireland will be chasing gold in alpine skiing and floorball in Austria, alongside 3,000 athletes from 107 countries.

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The Special Olympics World Winter Games team was announced at the weekend, with 26 athletes representing Ireland.

They will head to the Alps in March for the games, which will be the largest sporting or humanitarian event of the year.

Dubliner Lorcan Byrne from Ballyfermot said he was delighted to be selected.

"I was nearly crying about representing Ireland because it is such a big achievement," he said.

John Paul Shaw, from Offaly but living and training in Longford, will be competing in floorball, an indoor sport similar to hockey.

He has previously represented Ireland, playing soccer at the summer games on three separate occasions, and said he is very proud to get a chance to represent his country again.

Director of sport with Special Olympics Ireland, Frances Kavanagh, said it is a great opportunity for Irish athletes.

INM is an official partner supporting Team Ireland. Commercial Director Geoff Lyons paid tribute to the athletes and volunteers.

Irish Independent

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