In one year’s time more than 10,000 of the best athletes in the world will come to Rio, representing 206 countries. Team Ireland could be represented in up to 17 sports, including new additions to the Olympic programme such as Golf and Rugby 7’s. Our men’s hockey team are awaiting news of Continental Championships results and we could see them also become part of Team Ireland in Rio.
Dozens of test events will warm the city up for the Games, the first to be staged in South America and Irish athletes/performance support are attending test events to gather knowledge.
Since London 2012 the Olympic Council of Ireland, in collaboration with the Sports Council’s and Institutes of Sport have been supporting our National Federations in their bid to qualify, prepare and perform in Rio next year.
The OCI have covered important issues such as pre-games training, performance clothing with New Balance, performance accreditation processes, science and medical support and how we best work together between now and the Games. Engagement is ongoing with sports team leaders in the main , but also with support staff and Institute staff between now and Rio 2016 to ensure they all feel part of the overall Team Ireland network.
The OCI have been liaising closely with the Rio Organizing Committee on all operational planning for the Games and the information flow has been followed up with our Performance Directors, Coaches, and Science/ medical support teams at a number of meetings and conferences over the past few years. Support for athletes (via 2016 scholarships); professional development for team leaders, science and medical support; international coaching interventions, and team sport grant to rugby 7’s are just some of the programmes being delivered by the OCI. The Team Ireland training base has been secured in Uberlandia and will have Athletics, Triathlon, and Swimming as the main tenants.
Further one to one and multi sport support team sessions are planned for 2015/16 and will also involve interaction with athletes with the potential to qualify to ensure they are all up to speed with Rio planning matters.
The next main event for all National Olympic Committee’s will be the Chef de Mission Seminar held in Rio from the 17th -21st August 2015. Team Ireland will be represented by Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty.