Saturday 24 February 2018

Horses, fighting... let's stick to what we're good at

There's only word for Katie Taylor and our Olympic boxers. Thanks. Because without them the sporting highlight of 2012 would have been the Irish fans singing the Fields of Athenry in Gdansk, while the Spanish footballers basically handed us our arse.

That's not much of a highlight. But we wallowed in it anyway, telling ourselves we had the best supporters on earth. Thus Ireland became the first country in history to successfully patronise itself. We couldn't keep it up though. After an October drubbing by Germany, we had to face the fact that Trap's lads had less potential than a ghost estate in Longford. Unless you think that beating the mighty Faroes is a cause for optimism. In which case we'll have whatever you're having.

Euro 2012 was followed by the Olympics. We didn't really expect anything from the Games because they were in London and we've all spent a sticky afternoon trapped on the Tube, waiting for them to clear a signal problem at Earl's Court. Then we saw Danny Boyle's dazzling, nutty opening ceremony, and him with a mother from Ballinasloe. We could be on to something here.

In the end, we won five medals, our best performance since 1956. The glory came in the boxing and equestrian arenas. (Horses and fighting – we should stick to what we're good at.)

And the story of 2012 came in the shape of Katie Taylor. A beautiful, funny, tough woman who bate the head off all-comers. And gave us all something to remember with real pride.

Pat Fitzpatrick

Sunday Indo Living

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