Family and friends of Olympic double medallist Kelly Delaney from Clonmel gave her a hero’s welcome when she returned home from Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon to Elm Park.
Twenty six year old Kelly, a member of the South Tipperary Tigers Special Olympics Club, won a silver medal in mixed doubles and a bronze in doubles in badminton at the Special Olympics World Summer Games as part of the hugely successful Team Ireland who secured a spectacular haul of eighty six medals during the ten day event.
The family home in Elm Park was covered in bunting, balloons and welcome home banners on Tuesday morning with neighbours calling all morning to congratulate the family.
“She is a wonderful young woman. We have organised a party for nieces and nephews and friends. She rang me from Dublin this morning when the team arrived home and told me to have a hot bath waiting for her. She was all hyped up, excited to be home and delighted to have been part of the team” said her aunt Geraldine.
Kelly’s mother Ann died from cancer when she was just seven years old and before she passed away she asked her sister Geraldine to look after Kelly.
“Her mother Ann and her grandmother Mary, who died ten years ago, would both have been very proud of her. I was very proud of her even if she did not win any medals, it was wonderful to take part in the Special Olympics. She put in a massive effort over the last few years. She would come home late in the evening from practising and travelled to Dublin regularly to prepare for this,” said Geraldine.
Kelly was one of 88 athletes on Team Ireland who represented their country at the LA Games. Team Ireland arrived in Dublin Airport on Tuesday morning with 26 gold, 29 Silver and 31 Bronze medals.