Craven’s superhuman efforts pay off as Paralympics finally claimcentre stage
As for Craven himself, he has one more term to finish out as head of the IPC and then it will be a grandfather’s life for him.
At the Irish Paralympic Awards last Friday in Dublin, he told drinking stories from the 1980s of his time as a wheelchair basketball player coming over to play against the Dublin Panthers. Not quite the kind of thing you’d imagine spilling from the lips of Jacques Rogge.
“My life hasn’t changed at all, really. I know that after Beijing, I kept working right up to Christmas and in the new year, I just went into a black hole for two months. Not illness, not depression, just no energy at all. Now, I’m waiting to see if it happens this time. I don’t want it to.
“London was a higher high so this could be a lower low. But I don’t think so. I just loved it, all of it.
“No one wanted it to end. And the thing is, it will never end because the memories will always be there.”
Paralympic Awards: Irish Times journalist Clerkin receives bestwritten honour
Malachy Clerkin picked up the award for Best Written Media at the Irish Paralympic Awards last Friday night.
Clerkin, 34, reported on the Paralympic Games for The Irish Times during the summer and the panel of judges were unanimous in choosing him for the award. Of the five articles that made the shortlist in the category that was open to newspapers, magazines and websites, three were by him.
The inaugural Irish Paralympic Awards took place in Dublin’s Red Cow Hotel and were attended by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar and the president of the International Paralympic Council, Sir Philip Craven.
Double gold-medallists from the London Games Michael McKillop and Jason Smyth shared the award for Male Athlete of the year, while the Female Athlete award went to swimmer Bethany Firth. Hand-cyclist Mark Rohan – another double gold-medallist at the games – took the best Paralympic debut award and Wexford’s Darragh McDonald was the Young Paralympian of the year.
Dave Malone went into the Hall Of Fame and Anne Ebbs was presented with the Irish Paralympic Order in recognition of her 21 years as the driving force behind Paralympics in Ireland. Finally, RTÉ presenter Colm Murray was the recipient of the President’s Award for outstanding contribution to the Paralympic movement.