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Daily Diary From Tokyo: Gold medals keep rolling in

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We’ve only two days of competition left. Two. Utter madness. 

It feels like only yesterday we were frantically prepping negative certs and passenger locator forms to come to Japan and now we’re going through the same rigmarole again to get back out of the country. 

Yet it’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end when gold medals are still rolling in. To witness one gold medal is more than I could have asked for but for the team to win four in the one Games is just incredible. Let’s not forget that there are only 29 athletes in this Irish team and they have amassed seven medals, four gold, two silver, and a bronze, with two days still to go. 

katie-george-dunlevy-eve-mccrystal

And that’s not to mention all the personal bests that have been smashed over the last week and a half. 

Yet again Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal were the superstars for Ireland as they continued to give people up and down the country cause to celebrate. We all know of their world class abilities on the track and on the road but it was Katie George’s words after her win that really blew me away. Just minutes after becoming a double Paralympic champion, she spoke so eloquently to Paralympics Ireland about being a young girl struggling with her vision impairment and sent a message of hope and belief to all young people who may be going through the same thing. 

“I struggled at school, I found school really hard. I was diagnosed at 11 – I would have liked to have been able to say to my younger self then that everything is going to be okay – great things can happen. 

“Just believe in yourself and there are things you can do and that is what I would tell someone young with sight issues at home watching this.”

If there is anything I have learned from my time in Tokyo it’s that each and every single one of these athletes are role models, not just through their sport, but in the way they conduct themselves and inspire others just by being themselves. 

It is such a shame that these athletes can’t be congratulated and celebrated like they normally would due to the COVID-19 restrictions. But I hope that in no way diminishes how we remember their success. There may not be any major homecomings or parties but what Team Ireland have achieved in Tokyo should and will go down in the history books. 

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter