The 2020 Summer Olympics that were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic are set to commence today, Friday July 23rd. The event is comprised of thousands of different athletes from 206 nations competing across a range of events. This the includes 116 athletes on the Ireland team making it the biggest team to ever represent Ireland at a Summer Olympics.
Included in this 116 are a total of thirteen members of the UL community ranging students to staff and graduates are set for direct involvement in the Tokyo Olympics as athletes, coaches or support team members.
In addition to UL students and graduates competing as Olympic athletes, a further seven members of UL staff and alumni will feature among the support staff for Team Ireland, fulfilling a wide range of roles from athletics coaches, to nutritionists and sports scientists.
UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said: ‘I am incredibly proud that we are to be represented by so many talented athletes and support staff. We have made a commitment to provide the very best sporting facilities for our students, the local community, and to support elite athletes. To see so many UL students, staff and alumni at the 2020 Olympics is testament to this.'
The UL campus boasts some of the best sports facilities in Europe and is home to the largest multi-sport synthetic grass park in Europe, as well as a 50 meter national swimming pool, health and performance centre, and the National Altitude Training Centre.
The importance of UL’s sporting facilities is demonstrated by a further four athletes representing Team Ireland at the Games who use the campus for training. Sarah Lavin will compete in the 100 meters hurdles, while Roisin Upton and Naomi Carroll will line up for the Irish hockey team, and Roisin Ni Rian will take part in the Para Swimming.
The full roster of athletes and staff associated with UL at the 2020 Summer Olympics are:
- Finn McGeever (2nd year in Maths & Physics) – Swimming 4x 200 Freestyle relay
- Thomas Barr (Graduate Sports Performance ) – 400M Hurdles
- Michelle Finn (PE Graduate) – 3000M Steeplechase
- Carolyn Hayes (Med Graduate) – Triathlon
- Sinead Diver (PE Graduate) – Marathon (competing for Australia)
- Greg O’Shea (Law Graduate) – Rugby 7s
Support Staff travelling to Tokyo
- Prof Drew Harrison (Staff) – Athletics Coach
- Hayley Harrison (Coaching Ireland) – Athletics Coach
- Jessie Barr (Graduate & PhD Researcher) – Team Psychologist
- Toni Rossiter (Graduate) – Team Physiologist
- Adjunct Prof Sharon Madigan – Team Nutritionist
- Fergal O’Callaghan (Graduate) – Manager of Ireland Rowing Team
- Caroline McManus (Graduate) – Senior Performance Scientist (New Zealand Rowing)
Support Staff at home
- Dr Tom Comyns – (Graduate, PESS and current staff member, PESS) Strength & Conditioning Coach with hockey players Roisin Upton and Naomi Carroll and Athlete Tomas Barr
- Lorna Barry – (Graduate, PESS & currently undertaking her PhD at UL) - Strength & Conditioning Coach to Finn McGeever and other HP swimmers at the UL National HP Swim Unit
- Kathryn Fahy – (Graduate, GEMS & currently undertaking PhD at UL) – Physio to the UL National HP Swim Unit
- UL Sport staff Noreen O’Connell (Graduate, NCEF) & Neasa Fahy O’Donnell (Graduate, PESS) Management of UL Sports Scholarships Academy (established in 2016)