Weekly Update 4 Feb 2021

Today marks one year to go until the Winter Olympics in Beijing! While much of the sporting calendar has hit pause, it is refreshing to check in with our winter sports, where so far this season around the world 7000 live winter events have taken place in safe and controlled environments.

In today’s update, as well as informing you on the status of the Tokyo Games, we have provided an overview of twenty of the athletes that we are following in the lead up to Beijing. This status manual will be continuously updated over the coming twelve months, and we will keep you abreast of the progress of the athletes, so come February 2022 you will be familiar with Team Ireland’s Beijing competitors.

Regarding Tokyo I have included some updates and an explainer around what to expect over the coming week with regard to the summer Games, and as ever the Tokyo Olympic qualification status of the athletes can be found AT THIS LINK which is regularly updated.

All sports are at different stages within the qualification process; for some the qualification cycle is complete (Hockey, Equestrian, Cycling), and for others the process is ongoing. Some sports like Athletics, Rugby 7s and Judo will have qualification events right up until late June/early July. Over the coming weeks and months, we will flag some of these key qualification events in advance of the competition, with the collaboration of the various National Governing Bodies.


Today we were delighted to welcome the official launch of the Indeed Career Coach programme. Indeed is an official partner of Team Ireland for Tokyo 2020 and this programme is run in conjunction with the Athletes’ Commission to support athletes in developing their dual career, and providing them with the skills to develop professionally for a life outside of sport. CHECK OUT THIS POST, which includes a powerful video with Bernard Dunne, Team Ireland Boxing Performance Director bringing to life the importance of this programme for athletes.

Today marks Beijing 1 Year to Go, with the Winter Olympics set to run from 4-20 February 2022. Over the coming days we will be celebrating some of our athletes, with an interview being released at the weekend with Thomas Maloney Westgaard (Cross Country Skiing) and Elsa Desmond (Luge). Keep an eye on our social channels for the updates, and check out the status of the athletes HERE.


Over the coming week there will be several documents published in relation to the Tokyo Olympic Games that will outline a framework for the behaviours of various stakeholders who will play a role in the Games. These are called Playbooks, and they outline the safety procedures that will be in place to ensure a safe and successful Games. On the 10th February there will be a press briefing for accredited media in Tokyo to go through what is expected, and in advance of the briefing, today they issued the Playbook which can be DOWNLOADED HERE.


Athletics Ireland have confirmed that they have secured Government approval for an Indoor Micro Meet to take place for invited high performance athletes in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena on 20-21 February. READ MORE HERE.

Last weekend the 2019 European U-23 bronze medallist Nadia Power set a new Irish Indoor record in finishing second at the Vienna Indoor International Meeting last Saturday (Jan 30th). READ MORE HERE.


This week the Boxing Task Force announced that the European Qualifier for Tokyo would no longer take place in the UK in April, due to increased travel restrictions to and from the UK. An update regarding this qualifier is due to be provided by the 17 February. READ MORE.

Last week the European Olympic Committees announced the Boxing and Shooting would once again be included on the schedule for the 2023 European Games in Krakow. READ MORE.


The canoeing community have welcomed two new and exciting Olympic hopefuls to Team Irealnd, in Canoe Slalom. Madison and Michaela Corcoran have switched allegiances to Ireland after competing in the US system. The Corcoran family is not a new one in the Canoe world – Madison and Michaela are the twin daughters of two time Olympian Mike Corcoran. Michaela Corcoran competes in the C1 Women class, and her sister, Madison, in the K1 Women. Both will be eligible to race for Ireland at the European Championships/ Olympic Qualifier in May of this year, being held in Italy.

Recent recipient of the ‘Make a Difference’ fund, Noel Hendrick, is currently on a training camp in Ivrea in Italy, training on the course that will host the Olympic Qualifiers later this Spring. Noel is accompanied by his twin brother Robert, who qualified the spot for Ireland in slalom for the Tokyo Games.


Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy finished fifth in the Lanzarote Regatta last week, and speaking from Lanzarote, Team Ireland Performance Director for Sailing, James O’Callaghan is pleased with the progress of the team. WATCH HIM SPEAK HERE.


This week Shooting was announced as being on the schedule for the European Games in Krakow 2023 MORE HERE.


On the 4th February 2021 it will be exactly one year to go until the Winter Olympics in Beijing 2021, and for Team Ireland athletes targeting qualification, competition is underway across the sports.

Over the coming days we will have interviews and insights from our winter athletes, so keep an eye on our social media channels where we will be chatting to a few of them.


Elsa Desmond will be competing in St Moritz, Switzerland this weekend at the Nations Cup on 5 February 2021. This will be the last competition of her 2020-21 season. We caught up with Elsa this week in St. Moritz, so tune over the weekend when we will be sharing that interview. Elsa’s father is from Cavan and her family came together to form Ireland’s first Luge Federation.


Brendan Doyle flies the flag for Ireland in the Skeleton. Last week he competed at the IBSF North American Cup in Park City in Utah where he won a silver medal, just 0.55 seconds off USA racer John Daly. READ MORE.

Snow Sports

Our winter sports are in the height of their competition at the moment. Below is an outline of some of the upcoming competitions for our Beijing hopefuls this weekend:

Maggie Rose Carrigan (Snowboard):   

World Cups:   Bannoye RUS – 6/7th February PSL/PGS

Thomas Maloney Westgaard (Cross Country Skiing):

Born to a Galway mother, Thomas has been in top form recently, and we also chatted to him this week, the interview will be on our channels over the weekend.

Alec Scott (Alpine Skiing):

Europa Cups:   Berchtesgaden GER 6/7th February.

Cormac Comerford:

Cormac gave us a bit of insight to how his training has been going over the past while HERE.

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