Category Archives: Olympics

Mount Vesuvius shakes up the marathon

Mount Vesuvius, looming over the bay of Naples, has had a spectacular and sometimes malign influence on its surrounding area. Most notably, an eruption in 79 A.D destroyed the towns of Pompeii (which I visited on my recent holidays in … Continue reading

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Abebe Bikila, barefoot in Rome

During my recent visit to Rome, part of the itinerary was to go to a football match between Roma and Milan at the Stadio Olimpico, thereby visiting the venue of the 1960 Olympics. However, our plans were scuppered when the … Continue reading

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The greatest Irish marathon runner ever?

Who is the greatest Irish marathon runner ever? Is it John Treacy, Irish men’s record holder (2:09:15, set in Boston in 1988) and Olympic silver medallist? Or Catherina McKiernan, our women’s record holder (2:22:23 in Amsterdam in 1998) and winner … Continue reading

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Olympics 2012 athletics – Day 1: From Ennis to Ethiopia

Yes! The real Olympics are on at last! It seems like ages since James Bond shoved the Queen out of a helicopter, but finally we’ve got some action in the Olympic Stadium again. The first track gold, in the women’s … Continue reading

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LA ’84: The greatest women’s marathon ever?

We’ve already seen how the men’s marathon at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles can lay claim to being the greatest marathon ever. One of its contenders for that title is the women’s race at the same Olympics, which … Continue reading

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Delany’s gold in Melbourne ’56

Yesterday I had the honour and pleasure of meeting Ron Delany, who won gold for Ireland in the 1,500 metres at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. One of the true old-school gentlemen, he was kind enough to chat with … Continue reading

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From Russia with fourth (again)

From today’s perspective, the Irish team which travelled to the 1980 Olympics in Moscow looks like one of our strongest ever. Four of that team ended their careers as world champions and Irish sporting legends – Barry McGuigan, Stephen Roche, … Continue reading

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Fight to the Finnish in Montreal ’76

You might remember an earlier blog post about Steve Prefontaine, the iconic U.S. athlete who battled with Lasse Viren of Finland in a dramatic 5,000 metres final in Munich in 1972. Surely the same event four years later couldn’t live up to … Continue reading

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Paris to bid for 2024 Olympics?

The greater Paris area is investing in new and upgraded sports facilities with a view to bidding to host the 2024 Olympics, according to the president of the Ile-de-France region. Jean-Paul Huchon, a former sports minister, told French media that … Continue reading

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Sonia’s near miss in Barcelona

On my recent visit to the Olympic stadium in Barcelona, I tried to block out memories of Ireland’s athletics highlight from the 1992 Games. As it happens, Ireland had another of its agonising fourth place finishes on the track that … Continue reading

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