The Olympic Council of Ireland has selected Sonia O’Sullivan to fill the key role of Chef de Mission of the Irish team for the London Olympic Games of 2012. In her new role, she will head up a highly experienced management team comprised of the OCI’s chief executive Stephen Martin, himself a double Olympic medallist, and Martin Burke, the OCI’s sports director.
Sonia recently served as Deputy Chef de Mission of the highly successful European Youth Olympic squad. Her appointment was warmly welcomed by Jamie Costin, chairman of the Olympic Athletes Commission, who commented: “Sonia is a sporting legend and she will ensure that the Irish team’s preparations and participation at the London Olympics will be totally athlete focused. This is a superb move by the OCI and will undoubtedly assist our chances of winning medals”.
Ireland will also be represented in the Winter Olympics being held in Vancouver in February next.
The role of Chef de Mission goes to Siobhan Hoey from Portarlington, a former Irish triple jump champion. Siobhan is a school teacher and also manager of the Irish women’s bobsleigh team. Ireland may have competitors in as many as four winter sports disciplines in Vancouver, depending on the level of Irish success in qualification campaigns that are currently ongoing. Commenting on both appointments, Pat Hickey, President of the OCI said: “These selections allow us to take a fresh and dynamic approach to the many performance challenges that face our athletes, especially for the London Games, which will be virtually a ‘home’ Olympics for Ireland”.