OLYMPIC FEDERATION OF IRELAND SEEKS NEW TEAM MEMBERS AHEAD OF PARIS 2024

TEAM IRELAND MARKETING AND SPONSORSHIP MANAGER AND SPORT SERVICES MANAGER ROLES ADVERTISED

The Olympic Federation of Ireland today opened a recruitment process for two new positions within its team.

The two positions, Sport Services Manager, and Marketing and Sponsorship Manager will  contribute to the growth of Team Ireland and its footprint at a unique time – covering our centenary year and a Games in Paris 2024, with a strong group of athletes supported by a great portfolio of sponsors.

Speaking today, Olympic Federation of Ireland CEO, Peter Sherrard said,

“Today we have two opportunities to become part of a dynamic and exciting team as we gear up for a 2023 marked by four Games events including European Games in June. This builds into 2024 when Team Ireland has a unique opportunity to capitalise on the first Summer Olympic Games in Europe in 12 years and the centenary of Ireland’s first ever Games participation at Paris 1924. Successful candidates will be supporting an exceptional, diverse, and committed group of athletes who represent the very best of Ireland. If you have the talent and the ambition to be part of our team, we want to hear from you.”

A summary of the qualities being sought are listed below. For full details on how to apply, click on the link following each role:

Sport Services Manager - The Person (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

Marketing and Sponsorship Manager – The Person (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

Applications for both positions close on the 10 February 2023, with applicants invited to send their cover letters, CV and supporting documents to careers@olympicsport.ie.

PARIS 2024 OLYMPIC GAMES TICKETING UPDATE

31 JAN DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR WORLDWIDE TICKET LOTTERY

PRE-SALE HOSPITALITY PACKAGES ANNOUNCED TODAY

The Olympic Federation of Ireland today reminded supporters interested in attending the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 to register before the 31 January deadline for the Worldwide ticket only lottery if they have not already done so -  BY CLICKING HERE. The registration process is simple and does not require any financial commitment or details at the point of registration.

This worldwide ticket lottery provides access to ticket only solutions.

Paris 2024’s official hospitality partner, On Location, represented in Ireland by Elämys Group, is also offering package options for Irish supporters.

Global sales of these hospitality ticket packages for the Paris Olympics will be launched at the end of January.

Tomorrow, 17 January, sees the official opening of a special 'pre-sale' of these tickets in Ireland, the options are available at the below link now. Hospitality tickets differ from the separate 'ticket only' track, as it is an opportunity to buy a package with food/drink, accommodation and a specific event.

Key information and details:

Speaking today, Elämys Group Managing Director, Jussi Viskari said,

“From tomorrow Irish customers will be able to purchase hospitality ticket packages for the Paris  2024 Olympic Games through our pre-sales window. We are delighted to have been appointed by Paris 2024 and On Location to serve the needs of Irish supporters. We gained an important introduction to the Irish market during the Tokyo cycle and look forward to building on this for a very special Olympic Games in Paris which will be on our doorstep and in the same time-zone.”

Questions around purchasing tickets for Irish customers should be directed to Elämys Group in Ireland - tel. 052 614 8801 / olympicsirl@elamysgroup.com



Between 26 July and 11 August 2024, Team Ireland will be competing at the Paris Olympic Games. Applications are now open for two volunteers to be directly appointed to Team Ireland for the duration of the Games, and who will be based with the team in Paris throughout the Olympic Games in 2024.

The successful volunteer applicants will provide Team Ireland athletes and staff with administrative, linguistic and operational support during the Games, as well as a number of occasions in the lead into the Games. Paris 2024 will be a special centenary celebration for the Irish team; Team Ireland first competed in the Olympics in 1924, a Games which was also hosted by Paris.

APPLY HERE

The deadline to be considered for the role of a Team Ireland specific assistant (NOC Assistant) is the 16th January 2023, with interviews taking place on the week commencing 23rd January 2023. These volunteers will also be part of the wider volunteer network operated by Paris 2024 organising committee.

Speaking about the opportunity, Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Paris 2024, Gavin Noble, said,

“This is a really unique opportunity for individuals to be at the heart of Team Ireland during what will be a really special games. At the Olympics, the NOC (National Olympic Committees) Assistants are very much part of the team, and spend the days in the Olympic Village, assisting our  staff and team across a range of areas. This is ideally suited to individuals who have a good understanding of sport and the athlete needs, who have a element of fluency in French, organised, personable, work well under pressure, and who are interested in exploring an opportunity to work in a fast moving sport environment.”

More generally there will be plenty of volunteering opportunities for the Paris Olympic Games, details of which will be revealed separately by Paris 2024, when they open their Volunteer Portal in March 2023. In order for the Olympic Games to run, the organising committee will be recruiting 45,000 volunteers to assist across a host of areas.  

Terms and Conditions:

The following eligibility criteria applies to all volunteers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, including NOC Own Assistants:
• Be at least 18 years old on 1 January 2024.
• Be available for a minimum of 10 working days.
• Pass the volunteer selection process
*It will be expected that Team Ireland assistants will be directly part of our team in the build-up to the Games (in Dublin, dates tbc) and during Games time in Paris. Team Ireland Assistants will be paid a daily Games volunteer rate.

At a later date, all volunteers, including the NOC Assistant applicants will also be required to:
• Sign the Olympic Volunteering Charter.
• Complete and submit a full application on the Paris 2024 Volunteer Portal by the applicable deadline (TBC).
• Attend mandatory training sessions online and in Paris prior to the Olympic Games.

The portal for a more general volunteering role with the Paris 2024 Organising Committee will be open in March 2023.

DESPITE being Irish Taekwondo’s first and only Olympian Jack Woolley always uses the pronoun “we” to describe his remarkable sporting journey.

The sole high performance flagbearer for his sport for half a decade deliberately uses the plural to acknowledge the contribution of his parents and coach Robert Taaffe.

But now Woolley’s “we” is including the next generation whom he has not only inspired but with whom he can now benefit.

When you’re a sporting ground breaker who has had to go abroad to find quality sparring for so long, the deepening of the domestic talent pool has mutual benefits, even if weight classes differ.

“From 2015 up until the Tokyo Olympics we used international competitions as training camps and were constantly travelling. We still are (travelling) but we’re now at the stage where competition is just competition,” he explains.

His South Dublin Taekwondo club mate Leroy Dilandu (20) stepped up to the senior international ranks in 2021.

“There’s actually 16 kilos in weight difference between us,” Woolley explains. “I fight at minus-58 and Leroy fights at minus-74 and I’m also taller.

“I’m faster so when he goes against the ‘74s, they’re not kicking as fast. For me to fight against someone who is a bit more strategic and defensive and heavier, that really balances it out for both of us.”

He says Dilandu’s blocking and cover is one of the best in the world and he also now has a similarly symbiotic relationship with Ryan Doyle and David Phelan, also minus-74 fighters. “The three of them are all different heights so all that helps and the fact that we’re all in the same club.”

Woolley also spars with the best junior girls in Ireland who fight closer to his own category (minus-55 and minus-59). “Weight-wise I can’t hit them too hard so I need to fight them a little more strategically which makes me smarter.”

The Tallaght fighter still avails of his close relationship with the Hankuk club in Madrid to which he travels a few times a-year, staying with host families and sparring with their elites, including some female Olympic silver medallists.

Two-time Dutch Olympian Resmie Oogink, whom Taaffe is also now coaching, is also a useful training partner.

But Woolley is finally benefitting from the emergence of more international class at home in a high performance culture that he has undoubtedly inspired and fostered.

“They’re a bit younger than me and I’m a lot lighter than most of them but I feel their weight is balanced out by my level and experience and they’re able to push me in ways that other athletes mightn’t.”

As he observes: “It may be an individual sport but it’s always a team effort.”

Enjoying the Journey - 14th December, Sport Ireland Campus

The Team Ireland Athletes' Commission are calling on all Olympians (past and present) and high performance athletes on their sports national team (Junior and Senior) to join them for a social event to discuss the importance of 'Enjoying the Journey'. The event will be brought by the Athletes' Commission who are: Shane O'Connor (Chair), Natalya Coyle (Vice Chair), Annalise Murphy, Brendan Boyce, Claire Lambe, David Harte, Paddy Barnes and Sanita Puspure, most of who will be present on the day.

The date will serve as an official launch of the Athletes' Commission Strategy for 2022-2024, with details of the related activities, supports and actions to take place also.

The event will be an interactive event, aimed at creating engaging discursion around the various challenges and opportunities for high performing athletes, and the importance of remaining focused at all times on finding enjoyment and happiness in the steps along the way.

MC David Gillick (Olympian and former Athletes' Commission member) will guide two panel discussions around the topic, touching on key points such as how to celebrate success, and tips and advice from the experienced Olympians in the room.

Key Note Speaker will be Olympic Bronze Medallist in Boxing from Tokyo, Aidan Walsh.

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Paris 2024 Gavin Noble (Olympian and form Athletes' Commission member) will present on the Paris plans.

Places will be limited so early registration is advisable. To receive the link please email heather@olympicsport.ie.

TEAM IRELAND PARIS SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT

LARA Gillespie is definitely a ‘glass half-full’ person.

As one of the 15 individual recipients of OFI Paris Olympic Scholarships she recently got the chance to do a photo-shoot, posing in her Irish skin suit, in front of the Eiffel Tower in the city where she hopes to fulfil her track cycling dreams in 2024.

“That was very cool and and an opportunity that came out of me being sick because I wasn’t racing at the time, so you have to be grateful for that,” she says of emerging from two difficult years.

Dealing with injury and illness is tough for any athlete but must have been even harder for one as precociously talented and successful as the 21-year-old from Enniskerry.

She’s the first to admit that, when she finally decided to concentrate on cycling after success in multiple sports before she left school, cycling came naturally to her.
A European Youth Olympic Festival silver (Time Trial) in 2017 was followed a year later by a European junior title (Points) and silver medal (Pursuit) on the track.

In 2019 she won Pursuit bronze at the World Juniors and three silvers at European Juniors.

Yet her Irish senior Road and Scratch (track) titles in 2020 and a European U23 medal last season came against the odds, while she was struggling with serious health issues.

“I had this rare gynae (gynaecological) condition that I was born with. It only started causing issues when I was 15 and came back really badly in late 2020. It was only diagnosed in January 2021 and rushed for an operation.

“I never healed properly from that. I ended up fighting through it and going abroad and then tearing my hamstring. I got some good results in 2021 - silver at Euro U23s, gold (team pursuit) and bronze (omnium) in a senior World Cup which was a big step up - but, after the U23s, the pain was so severe that I just had to stop.

“I did a lot of rehab, tried to get back training but just I was so fatigued and then was diagnosed with glandular fever last December.”

She couldn’t train again until May. Throw in all the COVID lockdowns and chaos and it is clear she has come through a hellish two years when her tightknit family support has never been so important.

“I never like relying on people, but I had to ask for help and try and find other things that made me feel happy and grounded,” she reveals.

Living in rural Wicklow with her grandparents, her mum Suzanne (an international in orienteering) and her younger sister Bobbi, where she’s been running, cycling, climbing mountains and sea swimming since her childhood, proved central to recovery.

“Spending time at home, being around my family, my grandparents, my boyfriend and in nature, that’s what got me through. I was able to turn it around and appreciate that time because I kinda feel I’ll never have it again.”

Probably not given the peripatetic life of Irish track cyclists.

She returned in time for the recent European U23s and is currently in Mallorca, preparing for the European Seniors (Munich, August 11-21).

Having just graduated with a degree in Health and Performance Science from UCD in May, she has been accepted for a Masters but may yet defer it.

“I’m not sure if I’ll do it or hold off because I really want to go full force for Paris, especially after two years of a lot of setbacks. I’m just really hoping for a clear run now.

“The Olympic scholarship really helps. Like being able to get flights without stress and being able to pay my coach and (for) equipment I’ve never had before, like those aero handlebars that everyone else has.”

Gillespie is, literally, back on track now, though faced with the challenge of transitioning from U23 to international senior.

“I got three fifth places at the European U23s but I was fighting for medals and, off such little training, that’s made me excited. I know there’s so much more in me and really want to use all the potential I have.

“I’m also lucky that I’ve had a good experience of racing in elites already. I went straight from racing juniors to senior World Cups and didn’t even realise how big a step that was at the time. I’ll just keep working hard.”

The dream?

“Obviously to be Olympic and World and European champion and to keep having fun! What’s fun is the process, the whole journey. I’m looking forward to having fun on the journey.”

Lara gillespie, cycling
LARA GILLESPIE - CYCLING

We have received the NOC of Ireland media accreditations for Paris 2024 and are at the stage of collecting information from press agencies to gauge what their general intentions are regarding sending journalists/photographers to cover the Paris Olympic Games.

Contact heather@olympicsport.ie to receive the link to the registration of interest form.

Given the proximity to Ireland, and the fact that we will be celebrating 100 years of Team Ireland at the Olympic Games in 2024, we are anticipating a bigger demand for accreditations than we have been allocated.

The First World Press Briefing takes place in Paris from the 18 – 21 October 2022, register HERE to get all the information.

For those looking for accreditation as Non-Rights Holding television and radio broadcasting organisations (ENR), the information will be available ON THIS LINK between 26 January and 8 March. NOTE: these are not applied for through the OFI.

Dare to Believe ambassador and Tokyo Olympic Bronze Medallist Eimear Lambe understands the importance of having role models. The Dublin rower who became an Olympic medallist in Tokyo when she finished third in the final of the Women's Four with teammates Aifric Keogh, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty, explains how there is no one way to win a medal, and how a role model can come in many forms.

"Growing up I was constantly comparing myself to other amazing athletes, and I had them on pedestals and I would consider them these infallible people."

"But I think what's really important for people to see is that ordinary people really can do extraordinary things."

Eimear Lambe, Olympic Medallist

The Dare to Believe schools programme is sponsored by Team Ireland sponsor Permanent TSB, and a key element of the programme is athletes telling their story to school children.

"So I feel like having the opportunity to come to a school and just tell my story and let people know there are ups and downs to it. I wasn't born this big athlete, it took a long journey. Hopefully they can find inspiration in it, and see that maybe their path isn't as straightforward as they hoped it would be, but it doesn't mean they can't do amazing things."

To find out more about the programme head to www.daretobelieve.ie where teachers can register for the programme which is delivered in both primary and secondary schools.

Rhasidat Adeleke (Athletics)
Rhasidat (who doesn’t turn 20 until August 2022) is from Tallaght and is already blazing a trail for Irish sprinting. In 2018, aged just15, she became the European Youth (U18) 200m champion in Hungary. In 2019 she won double sprint gold at the European Youth Olympics in Baku. In July 2021 she became a double European Junior (U20) champion in Tallinn, setting a new Irish senior 200m record (22:90). She took up a scholarship at the University of Texas in 2021 and, in 2022, has already set the Irish 60m record of 7:19 at the US Collegiate Indoor Championships (NCAAs) where she was fourth in the 200m and eighth in the 60m final. In April , at the Texas A&M meet, Rhasidat lowered the Irish senior 200m record to 22:59 and, in May, in only her second race over 400m, her 50:70 (at the Big 12 Championships) broke Joanne Cuddihy’s 15-year-old Irish 400m record (50:73). Rhasidat will make her senior debut for Ireland this summer at the World Championships in Oregon  (July 15-24) and European Championships in Munich (August15-21).


Nhat Nguyen (Badminton)
Nhat (21), from Clarehall in Dublin, first made his mark by winning the Irish senior title when he was just 16. In 2018 he won bronze at the European Juniors and made the quarter-finals of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. In 2019 he made the last 16 of the European Games in Minsk. In 2021 he made his Olympic debut in Tokyo where he won his first group game and took 10th seed Wang Tzu Wei (Chinese Taipei) to a third rubber. In December 2021, despite just recovering from pneumonia, he made it to the last 16 of the World Championships in Spain. He reached the quarter-finals of the European Championship in April (beaten by Denmark’s world #3 (15-21, 17-21) and is currently ranked #10 on the World Tour. World Championships (August 21-28, Tokyo) are his next major.

Adam Hession (Boxing)
Adam (21) is a featherweight (57kg) from Galway, a two-time Irish elite champion who, in 2019, became the first male boxer from his club to win an Irish senior title in 2019. He is from the village of Bullaun and boxes for the Monivea club where his dad is a coach. Adam won a silver medal at last year’s European U22 Championships in Italy and made his international senior debut at the 2021 World Championships in Bulgaria last October where he was regarded as unlucky not to get the decision against a Russian. He has been part of the IABA’s High Performance team since 2019 and captained the Irish team at the recent European Championships in Armenia.

Daina Moorehouse (Boxing)
Daina (20) is from Bray and competes for Enniskerry BC. The Wicklow southpaw was a European Junior (U16) and Youth (U18) champion (in 2017) at 48kg before she’d even sat her Junior Cert. She captained the Irish team at the 2019 European Championships where she won bronze. In the European U22 Championships in March 2022 she lost to Croatia’s defending European champion and world silver medallist. Daina has won 11 Irish titles (two elites) and has moved up weights to achieve her Olympic dream because 50kg is the lightest category in Paris 2024. She once won a trip to train in Cuba after winning the ‘best boxer’ award in the Golden Girl tournament in Sweden.


Noel Hendrick (Canoeing)
Noel (24) is a slalom canoeist from Kildare club Ribbontail CC. He and his twin Robert  were just pipped for bronze in a C2 boat at the 2015 World Junior Championships. He now specialises in K1 and his big breakthrough was finishing 9th in the European U23s in 2018. In 2021 he came agonisingly close to Olympic qualification; only beaten for the last available spot by one place when finishing 13th at the European Championships. He is coached by Irish Olympian Eoin Rheinisch and is based in Pau, a big French centre for slalom canoeing. He has a degree from Maynooth University and is currently studying for a Masters in computing through DCU.

Lara Gillespie, Team Ireland Paris Scholarship Recipient

Lara Gillespie (Cycling)
Lara (21) is a particularly versatile cyclist from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. In 2017 she won time trial silver at the Youth Olympics. In 2018 she was a European junior champion (Points) and silver medallist (pursuit). In 2019 she won three track silvers at the European Juniors before becoming Ireland’s first medallist (bronze, individual pursuit) at track’s World Junior Championships. In 2020 she won the Irish senior road title and scratch (track) titles and, in 2021, she won European U23 silver in individual pursuit, her sixth medal at European Championships. Lara studied Health and Performance Science at UCD where she was a recipient of an Ad Astra scholarship (for elite athletes) and, while concentrating on track for Ireland, she competed last year professionally for IBCT,  a Belgian UCI Continental road team. She has successfully transitioned from junior to senior, climbing the podium at senior World Cups, with a bronze medal in the Omnium at the World Cup in St. Petersburg, as well as a gold medal in the Team Pursuit.

Ciara McGing (Diving)
Ciara (21), grew up in London before moving to Dublin to train on the Sport Ireland Campus at 16. Her family hail from both Rathmullan, Co Donegal and Tourmakeady, Co Mayo. She won her first senior Irish title at 17 and represent Ireland at the Junior European championships in Kazan, Russia. After 3 years in Dublin she moved to The Ohio State University in August 2020. In the US she has claimed a medal at the conference championships, made it to the NCAA championships and finished 3rd in Women’s 10m platform at the US Winter National Championships. Ciara narrowly missed out on Tokyo 2020 (finishing 23rd in the World Diving Cup – the top 18 qualified), so has set her sights firmly on Paris 2024. She will be representing Ireland this summer at the World Championships (Hungary) and the European Championships (Italy). Ciara holds the Women’s Irish 10m platform record.


Olivia Mehaffey (Golf)
Oliva (24), from Tandragee, Co Armagh, starred as an amateur (winning the Irish, Scottish and Welsh Opens and ranked # Europe and #5 ) before spending five years at Arizona State University (ASU) whom she helped to a US collegiate title in 2017. After graduating with a Masters in organisational leadership in May 2021 she turned professional but she had a very difficult end to last season as her father died and she subsequently missed her full European tour card (LET) by faltering at the last hole at Q-School. This year she has has conditional status on the LET and on the Epson Tour and is chasing her LPGA tour card. Olivia represented Ireland at the 2014 Youth Olympics and two Curtis Cups (2016 and 2018) and also played for Europe at the junior Solheim Cup in 2015.

Sive Brassil (Modern Pentathlon)
Sive (28) is from Ballinasloe, Co Galway and came to the sport through ‘pony club’. She is the reigning Irish champion and has competed for Ireland since 2008, achieved a handful of top 15 finishes on the World Cup circuit and qualified for the prestigious World Cup finals three times in-a-row (2017-2019) In 2018 she was part of the Irish women’s relay team that won silver at the European Championships and narrowly missed qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (ranked 40th, just outside top 36 who qualified). She has a degree in Spanish and French from UCD and is based in Ireland, training full-time. She finished 13th at the Budapest World Cup in May in pentathlon’s ultra-competitive new ‘elimination’ format and her current world ranking is #28.

Alison Bergin (Rowing)
Alison, who turned 20 in February, is from Kildinan in Cork. She took up rowing in her early teens and competes for Fermoy Rowing Club. In 2020 she was part of the women’s four who finished fifth in the European Junior (Under-19) Championships in Belgrade. In 2021 Alison was one of only two women selected in the Irish team for the World U23 Championships where she came fourth in the heavyweight single sculls semi-finals and finished ninth overall. Alison has been training with Ireland’s elite squad in Inniscarra for several years and is a second-year student at Cork IT (Sport and Exercise Management). The World U23 Championships in Italy in late July are her focus in 2022.

Jake McCarthy (Rowing)
Jake (25) is from Skibbereen and a few minutes older than his twin Fintan with whom he won his first national rowing title (intermediate) in 2016 which also marked the start of his international career. His highlights include 5th in the 2019 European Championships in Lucerne (with Fintan) in the Lightweight Men’s Double, reaching the final of the Lightweight men’s four in the 2018 World Championships in Plovdiv and, as a single sculler, placing 6th in the B Final of the 2019 World Cup in Rotterdam. He returned to competition at ‘Nationals’ last August after losing more than a full year of rowing due to a herniated disc. He has a degree in economics from UCC and is currently doing a Masters in finance assets management. European Championships (Munich, August 11-14) and World Championships (Czech Republic, September 18-5) are his focus this year.

Aoife Hopkins (Sailing)
Aoife (22) is from Howth, has been sailing since she was nine and has been a member of Irish Sailing’s High Performance training group since 2017. She has already taken part in two Olympic qualifying campaigns and Paris 2024 is her next big target. She won the European U21 Laser Radial title in France in 2017 and had one of her most successful results last December, winning the 10th race and finishing 17th overall at the World Championships. Aoife is studying financial maths in UCD where she is a recipient of an Ad Astra scholarship.

Eve McMahon (Sailing)
Teenager Eve, from Howth, won Irish Sailing’s ‘Youth Sailor of the Year’ for the third year running in 2021 and Afloat magazine’s ‘Sailor of the Year’ award, despite her youth. In 2019 she won the World U17 Laser Radial title Last July she won gold at the ILCA 6 (new title for Laser Radial) Youth (U19) World Championships in Italy, followed swiftly by a silver medal at the EURILCA Laser Radial Youth Championships in Croatia. In December she just missed out on another medal, finishing in 4th place at the ILCA6 Youth Sailing World Championships in Oman. She has been training with Olympic medallist Annalise Murphy for the last two years and is sitting her Leaving Cert this summer when she will also defend her World Youth title.

Paddy Johnston (Swimming)
Paddy (20) swims for Ards SC (where his father previously coached him) and is a member of Swim Ireland’s national senior squad. He moved to America to join Cleveland State University in the past year and competes primarily in butterfly but also in 100m backstroke and in 4x100m medley relays. He currently holds all of the national junior (U19) short-course (25m) butterfly records. At the 2021 Irish National Team Trials he won the 200m butterfly (1:58.81) and was runner-up in the 100m fly (53.32), both personal bests.

Jack Woolley, Taekwondo, Team Ireland Paris Scholarship

Jack Woolley (Taekwondo)
Jack (23), from Jobstown (Dublin), first competed at -54kg before moving up to the Olympic -58kg (flyweight) class. When he was aged 17 he was just pipped, in the final qualifier, for a place at the Rio Olympics. In 2019 he was a European silver medallist and ninth in the World Championships. In 2020 he won the US and Sofia Opens and was fifth in the World Grand Prix final and in 2021 he became Ireland’s first taekwondo Olympian, going out in the first round in Tokyo to Argentina’s fifth-placed Luis Guzman. Jack trains full-time in Ireland, is coached by Robert Taaffe and has already won another European silver medal this year (in Manchester, May), pushing defending champion Cyrian Ravet (who had defeated the Olympic champion in his semi-final) the whole way. He is currently #3 in the Olympic and World rankings. Last weekend he was last 16 in the high-ranking Rome Grand Prix (June 3-5) and he has World Championships in Mexico in November.

350,000 USD to be distributed across thirteen sports

The Olympic Federation of Ireland today revealed the recipients of the Paris Scholarships, as preparations are already underway for the Summer Olympic Games in Paris 2024. A total pot of $350,000 will be distributed to Olympic hopefuls with the Women’s Hockey team awarded the team grant of $100,000. The fifteen individual grants to a total of $250,000 were awarded to athletes from twelve sports.

The funding for the grants is primarily provided through a combination of International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Solidarity programme funding and OFI funding, split $250,000 from the IOC and the remaining $100,000 from the OFI to allow for a greater number of scholarship awards in Ireland.

The scholarships aim to support the athletes in their preparation for Paris, and to assist on the qualification journey. Athletes were nominated by the national federations and are representative of a mix of Olympians targeting a second Games, and athletes targeting an Olympic debut.

Making the announcement, Team Ireland Chef de Mission for the Paris Olympic Games, Gavin Noble, said,

“Thirty-five individual nominations were received from nineteen member sports for the Paris Scholarship fund, and today we are delighted to formally announce our Paris scholars and of course our support of the women’s hockey team. In the Tokyo cycle, twelve scholarships were awarded, and from those nine athletes qualified for the Games, with two finalists at the Tokyo Olympics. Naturally, we are aiming to build on those results. Through the support of the International Olympic Committee Solidarity Fund, and with the additional backing of Permanent TSB, Allianz and Deloitte, we are able to fund more athletes, to a higher level than ever before, and it is very much part of our performance and commercial strategy that we continue to move in this direction.”

Details of all recipients are below:

TEAM GRANT - $100,000

Women’s Hockey Team

The Women’s Hockey Team were awarded the team grant of $100,000 to assist with their preparations towards Paris 2024. The team consists of both experienced players who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, and emerging talent looking to make their Olympic debut in Paris.

INDIVIDUAL GRANTS – $15,000 PER PERSON

Rhasidat AdelekeAthleticsDublin
Nhat NguyenBadmintonDublin
Adam HessionBoxingGalway
Daina MoorhouseBoxingWicklow
Noel HendrickCanoeingKildare
Lara GillespieCyclingWicklow
Ciara McGingDivingLondon/Donegal/Mayo
Olivia MehaffeyGolfArmagh
Sive BrassilModern PentathlonGalway
Alison BerginRowingCork
Jake McCarthyRowingCork
Aoife HopkinsSailingDublin
Eve McMahonSailingDublin
Paddy JohnstonSwimmingDown
Jack WoolleyTaekwondoDublin

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is launching a new four-sport Olympic qualifier series for Paris 2024. This is an  Olympic Agenda 2020+5  project, which was presented today to the IOC Executive Board. The new IOC-led Olympic qualifier series will include four sports – BMX freestyle, breaking, skateboarding, and sport climbing. 

The series of three festival-style events will bring together the best athletes from each of the four sports in one urban park, as they compete to qualify for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Hosted in compact city centre venues over four days, between March and June 2024, the festivals will offer a new Olympic experience to fans from around the world, blending sport with music, art and culture.

The qualifier series builds on recommendation 6 of Olympic Agenda 2020+5 “Enhance and promote the road to the Olympic Games.” The IOC will work closely with the four partner International Federations – the International Federation of Sport Climbing, the Union Cycliste Internationale, the World DanceSport Federation and World Skate, which will remain responsible for the running of their respective competitions – to use the power of the Olympic brand in order to enhance the exposure of the athletes and their journeys on the road to Paris 2024. These three events will form part of the respective Paris 2024 qualification systems for each sport. 

IOC President Thomas Bach  said: “A key recommendation of Olympic Agenda 2020+5 was to enhance and promote the road to the Olympic Games for the athletes. This series of qualification events is a key milestone in the delivery of that recommendation. By having the best athletes from these four sports in a series of qualification events in major city locations, which will combine sport and culture in a festival atmosphere, we expect to boost their visibility and highlight the great achievements of the competing athletes on the road to Paris 2024. I would like to congratulate the four participating International Federations for their vision in working with us to create a new exciting pathway to the Olympic Games for athletes and fans around the world.” This series builds on the success of urban sports at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and supports this continuing evolution on the road to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.

Olympic athletes who represented Ireland across the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games were honoured this evening at a special event held by the Olympic Federation of Ireland at the Mansion House, Dublin.

The event, which was held in the aftermath of a hugely successful year for Team Ireland, marked the official wrap of the 2020 Summer and 2022 Winter Games cycles, and saw Olympic athletes awarded across different categories for their contribution to the team. This evening’s event also acknowledged and recognised the contribution of the Team Ireland athletes at both Games overall, as they represented their country with pride and in doing so, inspired a nation.

The first award of the night was the Allianz Rising Star award, awarded to young swimmer, Mona McSharry, who made a big splash at the Summer Games in Tokyo last year. McSharry made history in Tokyo, becoming the first Irish swimmer in 25 years to compete in an Olympic final, touching home in a time of 1:06.94 in the final to finish 8th overall. The award was decided by nominations from sports from across the Olympic Federation members, which were then passed on to an independent committee vote for the final decision.

The second award of the night was the Deloitte Special Recognition Award for the Summer Games, with Dr James O’Donovan – Team Ireland Chief Medical Officer at the Tokyo Games – picking up the award, following an extremely difficult and challenging Games, that saw him lead Team Ireland athletes and staff through the Games safely and without incident.

The Deloitte Special Recognition award for the Winter Games meanwhile was awarded to Cross Country Skier, Thomas Maloney Westgaard for his performances in Beijing in February, which saw him leave a major impact on the sport, finishing sixth nation in a hugely competitive event. This was off the back of a challenging start to the Games for Westgaard, which saw him in isolation until the day before competition due to Covid-19.

The Permanent TSB Spirit of the Winter Olympics Award was a joint award given to Seamus O’Connor (Snowboarding) and Brendan Newby (Freestyle Skiing) as they inspired the youth of Ireland to Dare to Believe in themselves.

While the Permanent TSB Spirit of the Summer Olympics Writers’ award - which was decided upon by the Irish media who attended the Summer Olympic Games – was awarded to Irish boxer Emmet Brennan for his embodiment of the spirit of the Olympics throughout the Games, inspiring the nation as he went.

The final award of the night was the Indeed Award for Excellence, and saw all Olympic medallists from the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games recognised. This included gold medal winners Kellie Harrington (Boxing) and the rowing pair of Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, as well as bronze medal winners, Aidan Walsh (Boxing) and the rowing four of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.

Speaking about the awards, CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Peter Sherrard stated:

Through the Tokyo and Beijing Games, the Team Ireland athletes have been dedicated, committed and  inspiring. We are very proud of their achievements. It was a pleasure to have Minister Catherine Martin in attendance, as well as Sport Ireland and the newly appointed Athletes’ Commission as we looked back on the Games just gone and prepare for Paris, and Milan Cortina. We wish to extend our congratulations to our award recipients this evening and thank our sponsors and partners for helping to make the evening so special for our athletes.”

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