Team Ireland returned home to a heroes’ welcome on Wednesday evening following an incredible performance at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea.
Team Ireland, which consisted of 14 athletes and a management team of eight, returned to Dublin Airport with an impressive 12 medals – three gold; six silver and three bronze from their endeavours on the slopes and the floorball rink.
Aidan Cross from Cahir emerged into the arrivals hall of Dublin Airport with his fellow team mates carrying additional cargo in the form of a bronze medal!
Aidan was one of the eight athletes who were members of Ireland’s first floorball team at a World Winter Games.
Speaking about Team Ireland’s performance at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, Matt English, Chief Executive Special Olympics Ireland said - “Representing your country on the World sporting stage is huge honour for any athlete but doing so well and returning with medals is an incredible achievement. I would like to pay tribute to every member of Team Ireland for representing us all so well at these prestigious Games and for being such wonderful sporting ambassadors Ireland”.
John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council said - “We are all very proud of the Irish team’s performances in South Korea. Everyone put in a terrific personal display and it is a bonus to come home with medals. I want to pay tribute to the athletes, the support staff at Special Olympics Ireland and to all the family members and volunteers who worked so hard to make this sporting adventure possible”.
Nick Harkness, Acting Chief Executive, Sport Northern Ireland said - “Sport Northern Ireland would like to congratulate all of Team Ireland’s Special Olympics athletes on their recent achievements at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games and achieving an impressive 12 medal wins at these Games. We wish them continued success in their sporting careers.”
The 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games was the biggest winter sports competition to take place in the World this year and the largest winter multi-sports events ever held in South Korea. 3,300 athletes from 112 countries showcased their skills and abilities over the eight days of competition. For further information about Team Ireland’s involvement at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games please visit: www.specialolympics.ie/wintergames