By Special Olympics Ireland on 23/03/2017 14:53
Today has been a busy day so far for Team Ireland’s floorballers with both teams in playoff action.
In the first game of the day, Sweden overcame Team 1 to advance to the Final. A spectacular solo effort by Joe McCarthy in the second half will give confidence to Team Ireland as they now prepare to face Switzerland for bronze later this evening. Coach Paul O’Callaghan was buoyed by the Irish spirit shown against the Swedes: “In the second half they stuck at their guns, got another goal; that lifted their spirits. We’ve played Switzerland twice already and it’s a real 50-50 match.”
Team 2 will face Argentina in the 5th-6th place playoff at 18:40 this evening.
Ireland’s Floorball Team 1 left everything on the court in their bronze medal game against Switzerland as they came agonisingly close in what has been described as “the game of the championship”.
Team Ireland raced into a two-nil lead after Willie McGrath’s...
By Special Olympics Ireland on 22/03/2017 19:27
The floorballers of Team 2 put in a stirring performance against Bharat in their group game. Despite the ball rarely leaving the opposition half, Bharat’s huge defensive effort and brilliant goalkeeping proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Team Ireland started brightly going close on a number of occasions; however the deadlock was broken by Bharat who found the net at the end of a swift counter attack. Bharat’s second came after a similar passage of play, leaving the score 0-2 at the break.
Team Ireland’s continued pressure paid off soon after half time, Thomas Caulfield providing the killer touch at the end of a well-worked move. The Irish continued their relentless barrage on the opposition goal, with Stephen Lee coming closest. However, as Team Ireland pushed for an equaliser in the dying seconds, Bharat finished the game with a third goal to win the match.
In the second match of the day for Team 2 well taken goals from JP Shaw and Lorcan Byrne weren’t enough to prevent a 3-2 defeat to Cote d’Ivoire at Messe Graz. The side twice came from behind before the Ivorians struck late to advance to the semi-finals. JP Shaw struck first for the Irish with the help of Thomas Caulfield’s assist. ...
By Special Olympics Ireland on 21/03/2017 19:57
Medals for Team Ireland on the slopes!
Team Ireland have secured their first medals at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.
Cyril Walker (46) from Co. Armagh took bronze in today’s 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 Sean McCartan (16) from Co. Down. Niall Flynn (30) from Dublin achieved a participation ribbon. McConville, McCartan, Kenny and novice skier Niall Flynn are 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:...
By Special Olympics Ireland on 20/03/2017 15:53
16.30 Monday 20th
Team Ireland were in action on the competition slopes for the first time at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Schladming today.
Six athletes came safely through their divisioning rounds - Caolan McConville, Lorraine Whelan and Sean McCartan took on the intermediate slope at 1138m altitude while Cyril Walker, Laoise Kenny and Niall Flynn skied at novice level on Slope Schwaigerhof. The Giant Slalom finals take place on Tuesday morning.
Team Ireland’s Floorballers put in vastly improved performances on Day 2 of Group Stages at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.
Ireland Team 2 rounded off the day with a 4-4 nailbiter against Argentina in Graz. The South Americans salvaged a draw with two late goals, but Team Ireland Coach Michael Lynch had nothing but praise for his side. “That was their best performance of the day,” he said. “These guys are all new to the game. They are improving and have taken away huge...
By Special Olympics Ireland on 19/03/2017 19:06
As Team Ireland’s alpine skiers await tomorrow’s Giant Slalom divisioning, the floorballers commenced the round robin phase of their competition at the Messe Graz Convention Centre.
With 37 teams from 30 nations competing in five divisions, Team 1 were placed in TA with Team 2 competing in TD.
TA Teams: Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Russia, Switzerland (Play each other twice)
TD Teams: Austria 2, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bharat M, Germany, Ireland Ivory Coast (Play each other once)
In the first game of the day, Team 1 were defeated by Finland 0-9. Willie McGrath and Michael Minogue were standout performers in front of the biggest Irish crowd yet, with many family members having arrived in Austria on Saturday.
Game 2 proved difficult for the Irish as Russia produced a stunning shooting display to comfortably win their tie. Tomorrow will provide plenty of opportunity to pick up points with 3 games scheduled.
By Special Olympics Ireland on 18/03/2017 19:21
The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games is officially underway after tonight's Opening Ceremony in Schladming, Austria.
President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins led the tributes to Team Ireland in an official letter
where he said: "Being chosen to represent your country on the international stage is a great honour indeed. It is a tribute, not only to your great talent as athletes, but also to your dedication, hard work and perseverance. Those are qualities which make you inspirational role models and admirable Ambassadors for Ireland.
I wish you every success in the World Winter Games, and thank you for all you do to enhance Ireland’s reputation for sport across the world."
Team Ireland reunited as one squad once more as all 26 athletes arrived in Schladming for the event featuring a Parade of Athletes and a performance from international recording artist Jason Mraz. The team were in high...
By Special Olympics Ireland on 17/03/2017 15:37
Team Ireland channelled the St. Patrick's Day attention into their performances with a positive start across the board to their Special Olympics World Winter Games competition.
The Alpine Skiers garnered much attention for both their performance and their attire for Slalom and Giant Slalom assessment in Schladming.
In Graz, Team Ireland’s Floorball Team 1 made a flying start in the first day of divisioning.
In a tough opener against Croatia, Paul O’Callaghan’s side came out on top with a well-earned two-nil victory.
A hat-trick from captain George Fitzgerald helped his side to a 5-1 win against Venezuela.
Divisioning continued with a Swiss-Ladder system pitting all teams against opponents of varying ability. A defeat to the Czech Republic did little to dampen the Paddy’s Day spirits before the day’s competition concluded with a 3-1 win over Norway.
Team Ireland's Floorball Team 2 recovered impressively from a 9-0 reversal against Russia in their opening encounter,...
By Special Olympics Ireland on 16/03/2017 19:13
Team Ireland Gear Up as Volunteers Touch Down at Austria 2017
Team Ireland’s floorballers and alpine skiers have moved on to their competition locations ahead of assessment and divisioning at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. The 26 athletes spent their last night in the host town of Gallneukirchen with a cultural exchange of music and dance. There were also birthday celebrations for athletes LJ Ryan and Thomas O’Herlihy.
Croatia and Russia await the floorball squads in Graz tomorrow for divisioning with the skiers setting up camp in Schladming for the next eight nights.
Elsewhere, 90 Irish volunteers have arrived en masse in Austria to assist with the running of the games. The volunteers represent 23 different counties and all raised funds to be part of the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event this year.
Employees from Team Ireland sponsors eir, Aer Lingus and Gala were among the group with six volunteers from eir alone. These Winter Games mark the first attended...
By Special Olympics Ireland on 15/03/2017 18:24
Team Ireland arrive in Gallneukirchen to a rapturous welcome and settle in to enjoy a day of sightseeing and relaxation before competition begins
By Special Olympics Ireland on 14/03/2017 16:06
Fond Farewells and High Hopes as Team Ireland Depart for Special Olympics World Winter Games
Team Ireland’s largest ever delegation for a Special Olympics World Winter Games has departed from Dublin Airport for the 2017 games in Austria. A 26-strong squad made up of six alpine skiers and two floorball squads took Air Lingus Flight EI660 to Vienna this morning amid emotional goodbyes from families and supporters