Liam Harbison, chef de mission for Team Ireland at the London Paralympics 2012, writes:
“We have a talent ID event running on Oct 13 in UCD and that is based on a model we ran after Beijing in 2008. That was a day we expected about 50 people with disability to turn up and try out all the sports, meet the team and the coaches, but 400 people turned up, with very little promotion or coverage.
At least six of the athletes who competed in London turned up at the open day four years ago and one of the great stories from that day was Anne Marie McDaid, who came in with MS and hobbling on crutches. She was struggling with mobility but got into our programme quickly, got heavy sports science and medical support over three years, and now walks 3km to 5km a day free of assistance. That gives her great quality of life and she is now a Paralympian because of it.
…I just hope now they are home that the guys get the recognition they deserve. I don’t care what anyone else thinks: This is the greatest Irish team ever in any sport.”