Transplant athletes return with 34 medals

Ireland’s 24 athletes who competed in the World Transplant Games have returned home with a haul of 34 medals

The team were greeted with a rapturous welcome yesterday by family, friends, and supporters when they came through the Arrivals Hall at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 proudly displaying their 12 gold, 10 silver, and 12 bronze medals.

The team, in age from 12 to 68, were 14th overall on the medals table at the Games which involved 1,000 organ transplant recipients from 50 countries.

Also showing up at the airport to greet the team was transplant surgeon David Hickey from Beaumont Hospital, revered by many members of the team whose kidney transplants were carried out by him.

Team Ireland manager Colin White said the atmosphere and spirit of the Games was spectacular.

“Our hosts put on a spectacular week that brought together inspiring people from all over the world to celebrate the gift of life through sport and demonstrate that organ donation and transplantation works.”

Some members of the Irish team fared particularly well at the Games.

John Moran, 54, from Glasnevin in Dublin, Tony Gartland, 50, from Carlow, and teenager Andrew Duncan, 15, from Tipperary, a newcomer to the team, secured the most medals, winning four each.

The youngest member of the team, 12-year-old Oisin O’Gorman from Waterford, secured a gold medal in badminton and two bronze medals in the Long Jump and Ball Throw events, age category 12-14 years.

Tony Gartland, the first person to undergo a liver transplant in Ireland, secured a gold, silver and two bronze medals and he paid tribute to his deceased organ donor for his success.

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