Thrilling victory - Special Olympics

HEARTIEST congratulations to three Irish swimmers who claimed the country’s first medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. Perhaps they were spurred on by the words of encouragement for the Irish team from actor Colin Farrell and footballer Robbie Keane. It is heartening to see Irish celebrities taking such an interest the games.

Thrilling victory - Special Olympics

Doubtless the athletes were also encouraged by the volume of noise from 300 supporters who raised the roof of the Uytengsu Aquatics Center at the University of Southern California.

What a thrill it was for 22-year-old Seán Coleman from Youghal, Co Cork; Sarah Jane Johnston, 35, from Lurgan, Co Armagh; and Gary McEnroe, 24, from Tallaght in Dublin, to scoop a silver and two bronze medals between them on their first day at the games. Clearly, they were following the advice of Jenny Hughes, aquatics coach with Team Ireland who had told them to “ swim their hearts out”. Indeed, several of the 88 Irish athletes at the games, which continue until August 2, returned personal best performances. Hats off to all of them.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

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