Kilkenny Bronze medalist Lucy Dollard arrives home to a hero’s welcome – and a hug from Niall Quinn!
KILKENNY Olympian Lucy Dollard arrived home to a hero’s welcome at Dublin Airport today.
Lucy and her fellow Special Olympics contestants arrived back in Ireland after a long flight from Abu Dhabi, where she did Kilkenny proud at the World Games.
The 25-year-old won a bronze medal in the mini-javelin event. And she showed incredible character in the 100 metre sprint when he picked herself off the ground after an unfortunate fall to finish the race.
As our picture shows, Lucy was delighted to be met by none other than Irish soccer legend Niall Quinn as the Special Olympians arrived back at Dublin Airport.
And Lucy can also look forward to a special party that her pals and trainer, Brenda Whitely, at the Kilkenny Special Olympics Club are planning to throw for her.
Brenda told KilkennyNow.ie the club is planning the party for as soon as Lucy “has got her breath back”.
Lucy’s proud trainer said she couldn’t track Lucy’s performances live from Abu Dhabi back at home in Kilkenny, but she was able to follow the action thanks to constant updates from her parents.
“You can get it [coverage of World Games] online but the internet wouldn’t be great where I am to be honest. But her parents were texting and WhatsApp-ing me all of details so I followed it as best as I could.”
Brenda said Lucy had high hopes of winning a second medal in the 100-metre sprint. However disaster struck just after the starting gun fired when Lucy fell.
But Brenda said: “She picked herself up and ran anyway. She showed great character, she was determined to put everything she had into it. She knew what she had to do and she did it.”
Despite her fall, Lucy still managed to pass out a runner and ended up finishing seventh.
Lucy first joined the Kilkenny Special Olympics Club eight years ago. She started off swimming, then took up athletics and bocce (indoor bowls).
It was Lucy’s first time representing Ireland at the World Games.
Brenda added: “Once she was selected for the World Games she was incredibly focused. She put in a great effort and worked very hard at it.”
And now she has a bronze medal to show for all her hard work. And a hug from Niall Quinn!
PHOTO: Gareth Chaney, Collins Agency