O’Connor shines for Ireland at Winter Olympics

After our recent blog on the Irish Olympic team that will be competing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia we report back with an update and the news that Ireland’s Seamus O’Connor born in San Diego, California his grandparents are from Ireland – Drogheda and Dublin.  

Having secured a spot in the semi-finals of the men’s snowboard halfpipe competition, O’Connor was awarded a score of 66.25 for his first run of the heat, placing him eighth in the rankings when the rest of the field had completed their runs. To top things off, with his next effort, the 16 year old did even better by earning a mark of 71.50 that was the fourth best scoring second run of any rider.

O'Connor in action representing Ireland at the Winter Olympics in Sochi

O’Connor in action representing Ireland at the Winter Olympics in Sochi

He came eighth overall, with fourth to ninth qualifying for the semis, which take place at 3pm Irish time on 11th February. Despite getting through, O’Connor said his preparation had been less than ideal:

“My body is not feeling so good… I’m tired and sore from the slopestyle, and I fell a few times last night and banged my hand, which is not so good because it’s the hand I grab with.

“I will have a chat with my coach and maybe bring out some of my bigger tricks (in the semi-final). My run will be dictated by the conditions.”

Although the Winter Olympics in general have started well, some issues with the warmer weather are causing slight problems for the contenders and surfaces in certain events.

It emerged that officials preparing the half pipe had called in help from the alpine skiing team on Tuesday morning to improve conditions following criticism from some of the top riders after training on Sunday and Monday.

On the state of the halfpipe, Seamus added:

“The conditions are different today but the snow is soft and sugary. The pipe is better than it was.”

The top three from the heat were Japan’s Ayumu Hirano in first, and Swiss pair Christian Haller and David Habluetzel in second and third, respectively, who all advanced straight into the final.

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