Sunday 17 June 2012

Ireland's gymnastic hope for London

Kieran Behan is the second gymnast ever, male or female, to qualify to the Olympics for Ireland. Yes, ever! As I mentioned before, Ireland pours very little money into most Olympic sports and this is no exception. Facilities mean going abroad to train- Kieran trains in England, but competes for his home country. His story is more incredible than that though, at age 10 an operation to remove a tumour from his leg resulted in him being consigned to a wheelchair for a year. Shortly afer that when he bravely resumed training, he fell from the high bar in his gym onto his head and sustained damage in the part of his brain which controlled balance, of all things, and had to relearn everything. On this occasion he was told he would never walk again and it took 3 years before he could train. He also ruptured ACL's in both legs!

He qualified for the Olympics at the London test event. For a country which will only take home a handful of medals this year and for one which is an utter unknown in the gymnastics world, this is a huge deal. Kieran is a floor specialist, his difficulty is less than others (but he is upgrading) but his execution scores extremely well. He qualified third at europeans this year, but finished seventh in EF after making mistakes. He will obviously be against a deeper field in London, but here's hoping he can salvage a medal now that he is upgrading. Even if he doesn't- what an incredible story and what a brave man. Go Kieran! I'm not into MAG really at all, but will definitely be watching this.

Here's Kieran qualifying in third.

1 comment:

  1. So who IS Irelands best hope for this quad? Any new WAG competitor I should know about?