Irish Paralympic legend Michael McKillop has today announced his retirement from Paralympic sport. The announcement from Michael comes shortly after competing at his fourth Paralympic Games ibn Tokyo.
McKillop became one of the all time greats of Paralympic Sport as he elevated his 1500m T37 event to a higher level than it had ever been previously.
His career started in 2006 when he announced himself as a great talent at the World Championships with a gold medal in the 800m. This was to be the first of many medals that were to come his way as he would go on to win a further five world championship gold medals, double gold at the 2014 European Championships and four Paralympic Gold medals; 800m gold in Beijing 2008, 800 and 1500m gold medals in London 2012 and gold in the 1500m at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The 2017 World Championships, at which Michael took the gold, were to prove to be his last major competition for 2 years as he underwent essential surgery. However, Michael showed incredible determination to return from the injury in time for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games where he was to make his final appearance for his country in an incredibly emotional 1500m race.
Michael leaves Paralympic sport as one of the greatest and most successful Irish Paralympic athletes of all time.
Speaking about the retirement of Michael McKillop Paralympics Ireland CEO, Miriam Malone said “Michael McKillop will forever be remembered as one of the greatest athletes of all time on the track and a true trailblazer for Paralympic sport off the track. Michael’s stature in Paralympic sport was perfectly illustrated by the reaction of his fellow athletes at the finish line of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Everyone involved with Paralympic Sport would like to thank Michael for what he has done for Paralympic sport, we would like to congratulate him on an incredible career and wish him all of the best in the future”