Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal returned home from the Rio Paralympics yesterday (Wednesday) with gold and silver after superb performances.
The cycling community in Donegal are basking in their glory as they watched Katie-George take a silver medal in the Women’s B Tandem Road Race to go with the gold the pair had won in the pursuit the previous week.
They were part of a very successful Irish team, who finished with a medal total of 11: four gold, four silver and three bronze.
Speaking after winning their silver medal in the Road Race, Dunlevy said: “We’re absolutely exhausted, it was a hard race, probably one of the hardest races I’ve done but we’re ecstatic. We came into with the pressure off us but we both were nervous, we wanted to do well and show what we can do. We love road racing,” said Katie-George.
Asked about Tokyo in 2010, both Katie-George and Eve said that those thoughts could wait for another day.
Speaking from Dublin airport yesterday, Katie-George’s father John, who is from Mountcharles, said the pair would be making their way to Donegal this weekend.
“We don’t know whether it will be Saturday or Sunday yet, as Eve obviously wants to head to Dundalk as well, but we will come up to Mountcharles this weekend.”
He added, “We are all absolutely over the moon. You can’t describe the feeling.
“It’s been a long journey, a wonderful journey, and we got there eventually.
“My wife Alana and I were there in Rio and we just hoped that Katie-George and Eve would win any medal but then they won gold in the time trial so convincingly, by half a minute. To win any medal would be a great honour but to have won gold, and silver too, is really fantastic.”
BOOST FOR CYCLING
The success enjoyed by Katie-George and Eve was welcomed by local Donegal Bay Cycling Club, who have been watching the progress of Katie-George in the run up to the Paralympics.
Ted McGrane of the Cycling Club, speaking to the Democrat, said they were very proud to be associated with Katie-George and congratulated her on her great success.
“She would be good friends with the club and trained with us when she was in Mountcharles early in the summer,” said Ted.
“The club are very proud to be associated with her and they provided a small amount of sponsorship for her in her preparations. We got to know her through her father, John, from Mountcharles and we have been keeping a close eye on her progress in the last few years leading up to the Paralympics in Rio.
“Her success in winning gold and silver medals was great to see. It is four years in the making and it was a hard slog,” said Ted, who also praised her tandem partner, Eve McCrystal, who had taken a career break to train alongside Katie-George.
“It is nice for our club to have the association and hopefully she will get the chance to come back to Donegal and Mountcharles in the near future to show off her medals.
“It is a great boost for cycling and for our club to be involved in the success of Katie-George,” concluded Ted.