Sonia O’Sullivan to head up Ireland’s Olympic challenge at the London 2012 Games

December 16, 2009

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”.

Further information: Jack McGouran, OCI Media Attache

Tel:086 856 2649

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OCI Team Management profiles;

Sonia O’Sullivan; OCI Executive Member

Sonia was one of the world’s leading female 5000m runners for most of the 1990s and early 2000s. Her crowning achievement was a gold medal in the 5000m at the 1995 World Athletics Championships. She won silver medals in the 5000m at the 2000 Olympic Games and in the 1500m at the 1993 World Championships. She has also won three European Championship gold medals and two World Cross-Country  Championship gold medals.Sonia was Irish Team Deputy Chef de Mission at the 2009 European Youth Olympic’s in Tampere.

Stephen Martin: OCI Chief Executive

Dr. Stephen Martin MBE is a Double Olympic Hockey Medalist, and former Captain of both Great Britain and the Irish Hockey Teams. He won a Gold medal in Seoul 1988, Bronze medal in Los Angeles 1984 and finished 6th in Barcelona 1992. He played in 229 International matches for Great Britain (94) and Ireland (135), played in 3 European Cups, 10 Champions Trophy Tournaments, 1 World Cup and 3 Olympic Games before being awarded an MBE for Services to Hockey in 1993.He was Deputy Chef de Mission of the Team GB in 2000 Sydney, 2002 Salt Lake, and 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and part of Ireland’s  management team in Beijing 2008.

Martin Burke: OCI Sports Director

Martin joined the Olympic Council of Ireland prior to the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. His background is in Canoe Flat-water Racing, but he has also competed in Cycle Road Racing. He has been involved in four Olympic Games. Martin was Chef de Mission for the last two editions of the European Youth Olympic Festival and has attended five European Youth Olympics overall.

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