Friday 22 November 2019

Michelle's gold

• I read with incredulity your editorial today (August 10). I found it astonishing, inaccurate and insulting that you would print that Katie Taylor is the first woman to win a gold medal for Ireland at an Olympic Games.

To crassly ignore the three golds and one bronze won by Michelle Smith de Bruin at Atlanta in 1996 is breathtaking in the least. Michelle still has her medals, and the Olympic movement accredits her as the legitimate champion from Atlanta.

While I am not naive enough to ignore the questions that have since arisen, the fact remains that Michelle was the first woman to win gold for Ireland.

When one considers the attitude of the various sports organisations demonstrated towards Justin Gatland (USA) and our own Cian O'Connor, who were both obliged to return their medals but who subsequently went on to win medals in London, this snub to Michelle is further insult to an athlete who trained daily from a very early age for her sporting achievements.

No matter what has happened since, I feel your newspaper owes it to her to make this acknowledgement.

Ciaran Leonard
Cluain Mhor, Clonmellon,
Co Westmeath

Irish Independent

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