four medals are on their way back to the Premier County following the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens.
The three Tipperary athletes & 2 coaches are returning with 1 Silver and 3 Bronze medals.
The Tipperary winners are Maureen Sheridan, Borrisoleigh, Bronze – Ladies Football:
Athletics/Track & Field, Rachel Ryan, Templemore, Bronze– 100m Run, Bronze – 200m Run, 6th – 4 x 100m: Football (Soccer) Team, Gary Tobin, Carrick-on-Suir, Silver - 11–a– side Football.
The Games which ran from 25th June – 4th July in Athens, Greece saw 126 Irish athletes compete in 12 different sports: Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Equestrian, Football (11 Aside Male, 5 Aside Male and 5 Aside Female), Golf, Gymnastics, Golf, Kayaking, Table Tennis. They were supported by 49 coaches, hundreds of family members and more than 200 Irish volunteers who made the trip to Athens to cheer them on. In total Team Ireland returned with 107 medals: 31 Gold; 44 Silver; 32 Bronze medals and dozens of place ribbons. 10 athletes also recorded personal best records.
In addition to cheering on Team Ireland the Irish volunteers were assigned roles by the Games organising committee. Ireland was the only country to send a team of dedicated volunteers to the Games to support the day to day running of the events – something we are particularly proud of in this, the European Year of Volunteering.
Speaking about Team Ireland’s performance at the Games, Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland said: “So much work goes into preparing a team for competition on the World sporting stage. Team Ireland put a huge amount of effort into their training schedule in advance of these Games and they certainly reaped the awards in Athens. They recorded dozens of personal best performances as well as medal wins and these results are testament to the hard work and dedication of both the athletes and the coaching team. I applaud each and every member of Team Ireland and congratulate them on their outstanding sporting achievements”.