OCI's diverse contribution to Olympic Sport

December 21, 2009

– OCI delivered European Youth Olympic athlete planning seminars and training camps for Winter and Summer Youth Olympic Athletes. The Irish Youth Olympic Team led by Anne O’Connor competed in the European Winter Youth Olympic Festival in Slask Beskidy. Dermot Sherlock, OCI Honorary Secretary is a member of the EYOF coordination committee who advice on EYOF host city selection and delivery.

– Ireland’s summer Youth Olympic Team led by Martin Burke and Sonia O’Sullivan returned from the European Youth Olympics in Tampere with  7 medals; Gold, Ciara Mageean (Athletics):     Silver – Sycerika Mc Mahon (Swimming) Christine Mc Mahon (Athletics) Shane Quinn (Athletics):  Bronze – Sycerika Mc Mahon (2) (Swimming) Girls Relay 4 x 100m (Athletics) Christine McMahon, Joanna Mills, Caoimhe King, and Joan Healy
– OCI/Romanian National Olympic Committee signed a co-operation agreement and OCI / Performance Directors from Athletics, Canoeing, Rowing and Gymnastics visited the Romanian Olympic Training Centre. A similar agreement was signed with the Georgian NOC with a view to establish closer boxing liaison between countries high performance programme
-The OCI purchased a state of the art Bobsleigh and runners for the Irish Bobsleigh Team piloted by Aiofe Hoey .Five Olympic scholarships were awarded to athletes from 4 winter sports to assist their qualification for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Winter athletes also benefited from performance planning courses and advice organised and delivered by the OCI
– The OCI 2008 debrief process with National Federations concluded with the publication of the Genesis Review which received widespread support. It confirmed that the OCI had provided strong leadership, management and advice to the Irish team in the 2008 Olympic quadrennial
– IOC President Jacques Rogge unveiled a “bust” of former IOC President Lord Killanin at  Olympic House in Howth, and was accompanied by OCI and European President Pat Hickey. President Rogge also met with Taoiseach Brian Cowan and Minister of Sport Martin Cullen
– The OCI contributed to the Athletics Ireland warm weather training camp in Portugal, delivering athlete performance planning courses to athletes and coaches in attendance. The OCI planning tool was developed for athletes in Olympic sports
– The OCI awarded Irish Hockey with an Olympic Team Grant to assist their qualification process for London and covers preparation for the European Cup World Championship and Olympic qualifiers.

– OCI’s Chief Executive Stephen Martin attended a 4 day Vancouver Chef de Mission conference in Vancouver to progress plans for the event to be hosted in Vancouver and Whistler in February 2010 . In October he led a delegation of performance staff from Alpine skiing, cross country skiing and bobsleigh to Vancouver and met with Organising Committee officials of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games
– Athletics Ireland walkers Olive Loughnane, Robert Heffernan, Colin Griffin and Jamie Costin benefitted from the OCI/Poland NOC agreement gaining  access to the Spala Training Centre in Poland prior to the World Championships in Berlin, Loughnane winning a silver medal at the Championships.
– Jamie Costin was elected Chair of the Olympic Athletes Commission alongside members Ciara Peelo, Derek Burnett, Rory Morrish and Richard Archibald. The Commission will play a crucial role in athlete liaison in the build up to the Vancouver and London Olympic Games
– Pat Hickey was re elected as President of the OCI and President of the European Olympic Committees. Dermot Sherlock and Peadar Casey were re elected as OCI Honorary Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Sonia O’Sullivan was elected as a new member of the OCI Executive Committee.
– The OCI and Dublin City Council partnered with Cycling, Rowing and Triathlon to provide access and programme funding to establish a unique talent identification programme which can be replicated in other local authority areas
– During the International Olympic Committee Congress in Copenhagen, Golf and Rugby 7’s were elected on to the Olympic sports programme for 2016 and women’s boxing was confirmed in the London 2012 programme. Pat Hickey was one of the key speakers at the Congress in his role as IOC member and European President.
– The OCI’s London 2012 Management Team met with LOCOG officials and delegations from ten other NOC’s in a special seminar to discuss current plans for the London 2012 Games. OCI President Pat Hickey announced the management team as Sonia O’Sullivan Chef de Mission, Stephen Martin OCI Chief Executive and Martin Burke, Sports Director.

– Guatemala Olympic Committee’s Melanie Cauldron was hosted by the OCI as part of an IOC Exchange programme. She also met with officials from the Arts, Sports and Tourism Department, the Institute of Sport, Coaching Ireland and National Federations.

– OCI President Pat Hickey was awarded France’s highest decoration, the prestigious Legion d’Honneur, in recognition of his contribution to Olympic sport in Europe

– The Irish Curling Team were supported by the OCI through an Olympic Team grant in preparation for the European Championships in Aberdeen  together with science and medical input, advice on preparations for the European event.The Irish Curing Team went on to compete in the European Curling Championship in Aberdeen in December 2009. They finished joint second in their pool and won two more playoff matches to ensure a semi final place. Unfortunately having played approximately 18 hours on the ice in total during the tournament they lost to Holland and missed out on a coveted final place. The Irish Team played 12: won 9; lost 3.

The Olympic Council look forward to leading Ireland’s athletes in the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver , the Summer World Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 and working closely with our National Federations and partner agencies in the build up to European Youth Olympics in 2011 and the Summer Olympic Games in 2012.

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