Four Tipperary heroes were among the tired yet victorious 34 inspirational athletes who returned home from Poland after their outstanding performance at the 8th European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships in Krakow.
With its impressive medals tally of 18 Gold, 18 Silver and 31 Bronze medals, Transplant Team Ireland was ranked in the top three position on the medals table, just behind Hungary which took first place and the host country Poland in second.
The Team received a rapturous welcome home at Dublin airport from family and supporters festooned with flags and banners.
Tipperary team members were Vincent Bradshaw, Cahir; Sheila Gregan and Orla Hogan, Nenagh, and Andrew Duncan, Clonmel, at sixteen the youngest member of the team.
Andrew came home with four medals, Vincent won gold in golf while Sheila Gregan took the Ladies Virtual Triathlon title to add to the World title she won in Durban, South Africa, last year
Transplant Team Ireland Manager Colin White, aid each and every member of the team proved to be great ambassadors for organ donation both on and off the competitive field and each of them wore their Irish kit with pride and honour. They competed in heavy downpours of rain on Thursday, intense heat on Friday and it was very changeable the rest of the week.
This year, Transplant Team Ireland comprised 34 athletes including 25 men and 9 women ranging in age from 16 to 76 years with 29 transplant recipients (5 liver, 22 kidney, one combined Kidney and Pancreas, and one bone marrow transplant), as well as five people who are receiving dialysis treatment.