Dublin cyclist to lead out Paralympic team
A CIVIL servant and cyclist from Harmonstown, Dublin, has been selected to lead out the Irish Paralympic team and carry the Tricolour at the opening ceremony of the games in London this month.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games open in the Olympic stadium on August 29th.
Speaking yesterday, Cathal Miller said he was “absolutely delighted to be leading out the Irish Paralympic team.
“It is a huge honour for me, my family and all my supporters. To be chosen by my fellow athletes makes it all the more special as there is a phenomenal amount of talent and experience in this Irish team.”
The team leaves Ireland for England on August 15th, and returns on September 10th.
Miller, an amputee who played rugby with Clontarf RFC and Aer Lingus before taking up cycling, will lead out 49 athletes who will compete across 10 sports.
This is the largest Irish Paralympic team since Atlanta 1996, and five reigning world champions will line up for Team Ireland.
In athletics will be Michael McKillop and Catherine O’Neill, plus cyclists Mark Rohan, Catherine Walsh and Colin Lynch.
McKillop and fellow track athlete Jason Smyth will defend the Paralympic titles they won at Beijing in 2008. In addition, Ireland will compete for the first time in shooting and rowing.
Miller will be competing in his second Paralympics. He was fast-tracked into the squad for the Beijing games, where he competed in both the road and track events.
His performances were described by commentators as “exceptional” as he claimed fifth in the 4km individual pursuit, seventh in the 1km time trial and ninth in the road time trial.
In London he will compete in the 1km time trial, 4km individual pursuit, the road time trial and road race.