1, 2, 3, Jab, 1, 2, 3, Hook, 1, 2, 3, Punch.
While the US has the Dream Team and the Fab Five, Ireland has the Celtic Warriors-boxers Katie Taylor, John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes, and Michael Conlan?
On August 9th, slugger Katie Taylor won Ireland’s first Olympic gold medal since 1996, when Michelle Smith won three gold and one bronze medal in Atlanta for swimming. A few days later, John Joe Nevin-a sliver, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan-both a bronze. Success all around in the ring!
Team Ireland returned home from London, after its most successful Olympics since 1956. On Monday, 66 Irish athletes were welcomed by their relatives at Dublin Airport, before returning to their hometowns. Katie Taylor was welcomed by 20 thousand people gathered along the seafront of her home, in Bray, Co. Wexford. There were 6,000 people waiting for John Joe Nevin in Cusak Park in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, while the bronze medal winners of Barnes and Conlan, were greeted to a reception at the Titanic Center in Belfast.
Michael Ring, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, thanked the team on behalf of the Government and the Irish people. “You lifted the souls, minds, and hearts of the people in Ireland during this difficult economic climate,” Ring said.
The Guinness was flowing and there was much to be celebrated on the Emerald Isle this week. Meanwhile, the Celtic Warriors are already looking ahead to Rio 2016.