Team Ireland athletes recognised at Official Homecoming

Irish athletes formally congratulated by the Taoiseach at event in Dublin Castle

The athletes and staff who represented Team Ireland at Tokyo 2020 this summer were formally congratulated at the Official Team Ireland Homecoming in Dublin Castle this morning. A record number of Irish athletes competed at the Summer Olympics in Japan with 116 athletes competing across nineteen sports. Olympic Federation of Ireland President Sarah Keane, and CEO of Sport Ireland, John Treacy were joined by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Minister Catherine Martin, Minister of State Jack Chambers and His Excellency Ambassador of Japan to Ireland, Mitsuru Kitano at the special event to honour the athletes.

Athletes were presented with gifts to recognise their achievements as Olympians at the ceremony, which included music by musician Roisin O. Top class memorable performances and emotional moments captured the nation for two weeks, in a Games that netted two Olympic titles and two bronze medals for Ireland, with a record number of eight athletes stepping on the podium.

Congratulating the athletes and team at the official event Taoiseach Micheál Martin said,

“I am delighted to honour and pay tribute to the Team Ireland athletes and staff for an Olympic Games that will live long in the memory.

“We are incredibly proud of our medallists, and also each and every athlete. Your personal efforts and commitment was truly inspirational.

“To even reach the Games was an extraordinary journey, and your achievements lifted the nation this summer.”

Minister Catherine Martin added,

“Today acknowledging the incredible achievements of the 116 Olympians that competed in Tokyo is both an honour and privilege for us. These athletes competed with absolute distinction and they are a credit to their families, coaches, friends and their communities.

“The path to the Tokyo Olympics was like no other and the resilience shown by the athletes in combatting every challenge that the pandemic put in their way was remarkable and inspiring. They refused to give up on their dreams of becoming Olympians.  They have undoubtedly inspired today’s youth to pursue their Olympic dreams in Paris in 2024, LA in 2028 or Brisbane in 2032.”

Minister of State Jack Chambers said,

“Team Ireland gave the Irish people some incredible and unforgettable sporting memories during the summer. The team’s many successes lifted an entire nation while the manner in which all of our athletes conducted themselves while representing their country will inspire future generations of sporting stars in the years to come.

“Today’s event celebrates every single one of those 116 athletes that represented us in Tokyo as part of the largest Team Ireland to ever participate at an Olympic Games. These athletes occupy a special place in Ireland’s sporting history. They have become Olympians, a distinction that they can always enjoy and recall with great satisfaction and I congratulate each and every one of them.”

President of the Olympic Federation of Ireland Sarah Keane said,

“The Olympics is not just about the performances but also about the experiences and an important part of that is the opportunity to welcome our Olympians home to Ireland after the Games itself. This is the first proper opportunity we’ve had to do this, and we’re delighted to officially recognise and honour the achievements of our 2020 Olympians, especially on the back of what has been a challenging year for everyone.

“It was almost miraculous that the Tokyo Olympic Games took place this year and Team Ireland members really were inspirational and filled the Nation with pride. We are incredibly proud of all our Olympians, who all gave it their all and represented their country so well both away from and in their competition venues.”

Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of Sport Ireland said,

“Today is a fitting celebration to acknowledge all of our athletes for their wonderful performances and commitment in Tokyo. It is also an important occasion for their families, support staff and NGBs. All of our athletes can be extremely proud of their efforts in Tokyo.

“Today is also about recognising the important role of the Olympic Federation of Ireland and the excellent job they did in leading Team Ireland to and at Tokyo 2020. Sport Ireland continues to have a positive and constructive relationship with the OFI, which was brought to new levels through Sport Ireland’s financial and technical support, and the provision of medical and support expertise at this year’s Olympic Games.”

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