A Cahir man won a Special Olympics World Winter Games bronze medal in the fast paced and highly competitive team game of floorball last week.
Aidan Cross was a member of the eight man Irish floorball team that came third in the floorball competition at the World Games in PyeongChang in South Korea last Thursday, January 31.
This was the first time for Ireland to be represented at a World level competition event in floorball, which is similar to indoor hockey.
Aidan and his Irish floorball teammates overcame Austria by 11-7 in the last of their pool matches of the tournament. They faced Austria again in the semi-final match. It was a very close match with Austria just getting the upper hand with a final score line of Austria 6; Ireland 5. Ireland had trailed by 5 goals to 1 at half time but fought back bravely to score 4 goals in the second half.
Team Ireland quickly put any disappointment aside in the playoff game against the host nation South Korea. which decided 3rd and 4th place. Ireland proved themselves to be deserved bronze medal winners clocking up a convincing score of 11 goals to South Korea’s 1.
Team Ireland’s head floorball coach Paul O’ Callaghan said he was delighted for Aidan and the rest of the team.
“Since they got here, they have put everything they have trained for into practice. They’ve shown courage, determination and above all pride and honour while representing Ireland at these World Games.”
Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland, paid tribute to team and their coaches. “They came here as a team prepared and ready to take on the World and that’s just what they did. They have been fantastic ambassadors not only for Ireland but for the sport of floorball and hopefully their success will inspire others to get involved in this exciting team sport.”
The 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games are one of the biggest winter sports events to take place in the world this year. More than 3,000 Special Olympics athletes are competing in the games in seven Olympic-type sports including alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, short track speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey and floorball.