Home Is The Hero

The writing on the Wall says it all! - Our World Hero welcomed home by LWCC members Matt Paraic & Damien
Just after 9:30am on Wednesday morning 15th February, the arrivals doors of Terminal 2 in Dublin airport opened and the heroes that are Team Ireland were home – back home from their exploits in Los Angeles at the 2012 World Paracycling Championships – and back with a haul of two gold medals, a silver, a bronze, and numerous top 10 finishes. 

Among them was none other that our own Damien Shaw, pilot on the men’s tandem pursuit team, who a few days earlier had claimed a silver medal in the 4 km pursuit event. 

Among those assembled to welcome the team home was Cycling Ireland’s chief executive, a very proud Geoff Liffey, obviously delighted with the success of the team.  Also there among the friends and families of the homecoming party were a number of Lakeside Wheelers, Damien O’Brien, Paraic Devine and Kevin Monaghan who rose early to make the trip up the N4 and M50 as well as Matt Burke who cycled across from his job in the city, to make sure that the club colours were on show when their talisman arrived home.

Damien, who was his usual modest and unassuming self, was delighted to see his club-mates and despite the long journey was more than happy to share his experiences, pose for photographs and mix with the families and friends of the other Team Ireland members.

Unfortunately, Damien’s tandem partner, James Brown, wasn’t among the arrivals in Dublin as he had to fly onwards to England.  However, among the other Team Ireland arrivals was friend and neighbour Fran Meehan from Tullamore along with her tandem partner Catherine Walsh, both resplendent in their rainbow jerseys, their gold and bronze medals on display and an Irish record their back pockets.

When the dust settles on the 2012 Paracycling World Championships, no doubt the enormity of their achievements will dawn on Damien and James: a silver medal in the bag, a new Irish record of 4:26.778 in the 4km event and qualification for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London later this year.   Here’s hoping for some more occasions to visit the airports to welcome home our victorious athletes from their exploits on world-class stages in far-flung places.

Well done to everyone associated with the Irish performances in the 2012 World Paracycling Championships, athletes, coaches, management and of course families and friends, the support of whom we all know is so important to achieving success. 

Paraic Congratulates Damien
Paraic Congratulates Damien

Damien's World Silver Medal
Damien's World Silver Medal
Note the LWCC colours included in the rainbow!