In a first for Ireland back in October 2017, four cross country skiers took part in the Run Galway Bay Marathon on roller skies adding to the excitement and entertainment of our popular running event in Galway.
The four athletes included the Norway based Winter Olympic hopeful Thomas Westgard who’s mum is from Galway. Yesterday Thomas was unveiled by the Irish Olympic Council as one of five Irish athletes who will represent Ireland at the Winter Olympic Games being held in PyeongChang, South Korea from the 9th to 25th February.
The other four athletes joining Thomas include; Alpine Skiers Tess Arbez and Patrick McMillian, Half Pipe Skier, Bubba Newby and Snowboarder Seamus O’Connor who make up Team Ireland. The athletes were met by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin yesterday who congratulated them on the achievement of being selected to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games. The Team will fly out to PyeongChang today allowing them a full week to prepare, train and acclimatise to conditions ahead of the opening ceremony on the 9th February. For each of these athletes, reaching the Winter Olympics is the culmination of an arduous four-year campaign.
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D. said:
“For Ireland to have five athletes taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympics is a great achievement. Competing in your chosen field at an Olympic Games is the ultimate goal for any athlete; getting this far is a personal triumph for each sportsperson. Tess, Patrick, Thomas, Bubba and Seamus have shown great dedication, tenacity and a lot of talent to qualify for the Games and on behalf of all of us in Ireland, I wish them the very best of luck as they take on the world’s best snow sport athletes in PyeongChang in the coming weeks.”
We were delighted to welcome Brian Kennedy, Dominic McAleenan and Tadhg De Barra along with Thomas to Galway last October for our Marathon event and look forward to seeing them on the start line with us once again on October 6th of this year. In the meantime we wish the very best of luck to Thomas Westgard and the rest of the Irish team at the Winter Olympics, no doubt we will be glued to the TV for Games coverage.