London 2012 is remembered as the Paralympic Games that changed the world. The Games were amongst the best attended to date and raised the profile of Paralympic sport to a new level.
Team Ireland reveled on the biggest stage as the athletes produced some of the best performances ever from Irish athletes at the Paralympic Games. 49 Irish athletes competed at the 2012 Games and secured no fewer than 19 medals.
September 1st will be long remembered as one of the greatest days ever for Irish Paralympic sport as three athletes secured gold medals for Ireland on the same day. On the track Jason Smyth broke his own world record in the 100m T13 final confirming his status as the fastest paralympian on the planet. Michael McKillop also won gold in the T37 800m as he set a new World Record for the event. The third gold medal of the day came in the pool where Darragh McDonald swam to the top step of the podium with a blistering swim in the Men’s 400m Freestyle S6.
Catherine Walsh also had the distinction of winning Ireland’s first ever medal for at the Paralympic Games. Walsh was no stranger to Paralympic success in her own right having previously won the bronze medal for Pentathlon in Sydney. Although Ireland had never won a cycling medal prior to 2012 they certainly made up for lost time as four more medals followed, including a second medal for Catherine, 2 gold’s for Mark Rohan and a bronze for James Brown.
19 medals were claimed at London 2012 by Irish athletes across four different sports including cycling, swimming, equestrian and athletics. One of the most memorable moments for team Ireland came during the medal presentations when gold medallist, Michael McKillop, was surprised by being presented with his medal by his own mother.
|Catherine||O’Neill||Silver||Athletics||Women’s Discus Throw||F51-53|
|Orla||Barry||Bronze||Athletics||Women’s Discus Throw||F57/58|
|Mark||Rohan||Gold||Cycling||Men’s Road Race||H1|
|James||Brown||Bronze||Cycling||Men’s Time Trial||B|
|Mark||Rohan||Gold||Cycling||Men’s Time Trial||H1|
|Catherine||Walsh||Bronze||Cycling||Women’s Time Trial||B|
|Catherine||Walsh||Silver||Cycling||Women’s Individual Pursuit||B|
|Helen||Kearney||Silver||Equestrian||Dressage- Championship||Grade 1a|
|Helen||Kearney||Bronze||Equestrian||Dressage- Freestyle||Grade 1a|
|Darragh||McDonald||Gold||Swimming||Men’s 400m Freestyle||S6|
|Bethany||Firth||Gold||Swimming||Women’s 100m Backstroke||S14|