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‘What’s rare is wonderful’ is what I wrote yesterday describing Ireland’s success at Games but the medals keep rolling in for us at the Paralympics!
I don’t think anyone in the world would begrudge Nicole Turner a medal such is her insanely likeable personality. She was beaming, shaking, and laughing as she was proclaimed a Paralympic silver medalist in the Tokyo Aquatic Centre. And it was impossible not to smile along with her.
It was a day of celebrating success all around for me as I travelled out to the Paralympic Village to chat to Jason Smyth following his victory last night. It’s always nice to chat to someone when everything has settled down. Immediately after the race, Jason was being pulled in every direction, to talk to broadcast and print while the hovering stewards were anxious that he make it back in time for the medal ceremony. He was, understandably, exhausted following the intense battle. But today he was relaxed and calm, but still very much delighted with his achievement.
So surrounded by the wooden buildings and in the blistering heat, we chatted about the race, what his year’s been like and what’s next for the Irish superstar and he was as humble and insightful as you would imagine. It’s one of the very few interviews I am looking forward to transcribing.
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) August 30, 2021
It’s hard to believe we are halfway through the Games already. In one way it feels as though we have been here for months. Everything has been go, go, go since we arrived last Monday with no chance to step back and take a breath. It’s been so hectic but in the best possible way. From here on out, the days will begin to quieten and settle down as athletes finish up and fly home.
In fact, two members of Team Ireland flew home today. That’s such a surreal thought. This has been the most crazy, unpredictable, yet amazing experience of my career and the fact that we are on the final stretch is both bizarre and disappointing.
Still, there’s lots of action between now and then and with the positive vibes flowing throughout this Irish team, there will be plenty more good news to come.