Olympic medalist, John Treacy, special guest at tonight's Letterkenny AC function

Treacy’s Olympic silver medal in the marathon in Los Angeles in 1984 is one of the most iconic moments in Irish sporting history.

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Olympic medalist, John Treacy, special guest at tonight's Letterkenny AC function

John Treacy on his way to a silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games

Olympic silver medalist John Treacy will be the special guest at the 45th Letterkenny Athletic Club Awards ceremony tonight in Arena 7.

Treacy’s Olympic silver medal in the marathon in Los Angeles in 1984 is one of the most iconic moments in Irish sporting history. As Treacy entered the roaring Los Angeles Colosseum stadium with Britain’s Charlie Spedding hot on his heels, a battle was on the cards for the silver medal. With just 150m to go, Treacy pulled away, and so began the great Jimmy Magee’s famous commentary, listing the previous Irish Olympic medal winners up to that time, before culminating: "And for the 13th time, an Olympic medal goes to John Treacy from Villierstown in Waterford, the little man with the big heart."

Treacy competed at four successive Olympic Games in the 5000m, 10000m and marathon, in Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992. His successful international career spanned three decades, winning multiple National, European and World medals. Treacy is currently CEO of Sport Ireland, having been appointed as chairperson of the Irish Sports Council in 1999. His athletics success all began at the age of sixteen, where he won the bronze medal in the Junior race at the World Cross Country Championships in Italy in 1974. One year later, he followed that up with another bronze in the Junior race in Morocco. Also in 1975, he won a silver medal at the European Junior Track & Field championships. Treacy then took up an athletics scholarship at Providence College in Rhode Island, where he joined a host of Irish athletes on successful teams, winning several American NCAA titles.

He then burst onto the World scene at Senior level by becoming the first Irishman to win the IAAF World Cross Country championships in Glasgow in 1978. However, it was in 1979, where his performance transcended the sport of athletics, as Treacy retained his world title in front of 25,000 spectators at Limerick Racecourse. In a never to be forgotten day for Irish sport, Treacy was backed up in a heroic effort by the Irish team, winning the team silver medals, with Letterkenny Athletic Club’s own Danny McDaid, captaining the team with a blistering run in 11th place. Double Olympian Danny spent many years alongside John on Irish teams and will be delighted to welcome him to the cathedral town for the awards night, which promises to be a great celebration of another year of success for Letterkenny Athletic Club. 

MC for tonight is Martin Gormley. Admission will be €20, contact Danny McDaid 0876907945 or Raymond Birch 0879870747 for more information.