Irish skiers claim four medals at Special Olympics

Ireland defeat Ivory Coast, 3-2, in floorball competition in Austria


Team Ireland secured their first medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria on Tuesday.

Cyril Walker (46) from Co Armagh took bronze in the Giant Slalom Novice finals, while 16-year-old Laoise Kenny from Dublin secured 4th place.

“It’s the best day of her life,” said Laoise’s dad Austin. “She cut her bends really well, picked up speed along the course and some good pole work helped her to improve her time at the end.”

All three of Team Ireland’s Intermediate skiers secured medals on the slopes at Schladming.

Lorraine Whelan (36) from Co Wicklow and Caolan McConville (13) from Co Antrim took silver, while there was bronze for Seán McCartan (16) from Co Down. Niall Flynn (30) from Dublin achieved a participation ribbon. McConville, McCartan, Kenny and novice skier Niall Flynn were all competing in their first Games.

Lorraine Whelan said the silver medal she claimed in her division was as precious as any she has won at previous Games: “I’m just over the moon,” she said. “I attacked it at the start, the middle and the bottom. Bring on tomorrow.”

The Team Ireland skiers move on to the Slalom competition on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, there was a rest day for Ireland Team 1 in the Floorball Competition on Tuesday, while Team 2 took on the Ivory Coast, putting in a fantastic performance to win 3-2.

AS Alpine Novice Giant Slalom

Division M05: Cyril Walker, 3rd (01:23.48). Division F07: Laoise Kenny, 4th (02:38.87). Division Comb 1: Niall Flynn, Participation ribbon.

AS Alpine Intermediate Giant Slalom

Division M08: Caolan McConville, 2nd (03:40.71). Division F10: Lorraine Whelan, 2nd (04:34.79). Division M14: Seán McCartan, 3rd (02:41.88).

Team Ireland’s Alpine Skiing Team

Intermediate – Sean McCartan (Antrim), Lorraine Whelan (Wicklow). Novice – Caolan McConville (Armagh), Cyril Walker (Armagh), Niall Flynn (Dublin), Laoise Kenny (Dublin).

Team Ireland’s Floorball Teams

Team 1 – Joseph McCarthy (Cork), Brian McDonnell (Cork), Thomas O’Herlihy (Cork), Roy Saville (Cork), Lee Ryan Byrne (Dublin), Michael Minogue (Limerick), George Fitzgerald (Waterford), Clive Healy (Waterford), William McGrath (Waterford), James Upton (Waterford).

Team 2 – James Healy (Cork), Richard Moran (Cork), Lorcan Byrne (Dublin), Thomas Caulfield (Dublin), Matthew Colgan (Dublin), Stephen Lee (Dublin), Anthony Murray (Dublin), Raymond McClearn (Galway), John Paul Shaw (Longford), Patrick Tunstead (Meath).