The 2014 Winter Olympics starting next Friday, 7th February, in Sochi, Russia will see Ireland sending a 5 person strong team to take part in several events with the hope of bringing back some medals for their efforts. Although the Irish team will be generally young and inexperienced at a Olympic level each member has had outstanding success in mainly junior competitions.
None more so than Seamus O’Conner at only 16 is being hailed as “one of the most exciting young talents in Snowboarding” at the early age of 12 he won the European Junior Half Pipe Championship. Although born in San Diego, California his grandparents are from Drogheda and Dublin, respectively, and has declared himself for the Irish team.
Florence bell is another member to watch originally born in Birmingham, England, her parents are from Northern Ireland; She represented Britain up until 2009 winning an European indoor championship, before joining her sister Victoria Bell and declaring for the Irish national team. Since representing Ireland Florence has taken part in the first ever World Youth Winter Olympic games in 2012 and the European Youth Winter Olympics in 2013. Florence will be competing in the Down Hill slalom.
The other members of the Irish Team consist of Conor Lyne who resides in Logan, Utah but his father is from Kerry and his mother is from Limerick. Lyne competed for Ireland in the last 2 Skiing World Championships 2011 & 2013. This will be his first Winter Olympics “Ever since I started skiing competitively as I teenager it has been my dream to represent Ireland at a Winter Olympics,”
Sean Greenwood will compete in the Skeleton event made famous in Ireland back in the 2002 Olympics by Irish hero Clifton Wrottesley. And finally Jan Rossiter a Cross Country skier born in Cork to an Irish father and Czech mother.
Speaking on the announcement of the squad today, Ireland Chef de Mission Stephen Martin said
“We expect the Games to be an important milestone in the development of Irish Winter Olympic talent and are confident of excellent individual performances in the face of severe competition from the alpine nations.”