WITH good news rarer than hen’s teeth in these bleak times, the sparkle of gold in Rio de Janeiro is indeed a heartlifting event and a badly needed cause for celebration.
President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke for the nation when they conveyed their warm congratulations to Jason Smyth after the Irish sprinter won his fifth gold medal at the Paralympic Games in Rio yesterday.
Following up his success in Beijing eight years ago and in London four years later, 33-year-old Derry sprinter Smyth stormed to victory in the 100m final at the Games.
The President thanked him for being “such a positive role model”, a sentiment that will be echoed from one end of Ireland to the other.
It’s not every day one is praised by both President and Taoiseach. Mr Kenny said it was a “great honour that the fastest Paralympian on the planet is an Irishman”, adding that by winning five gold medals “he ensures his place in the pantheon of Irish sporting greats”. What a fairytale.
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