London Calling: new program follows Olympic hopefuls


A new six part RTE television documentary is set to shine the spotlight on some of Ireland’s hardest working athletes. In just 39 days time these Olympic hopefuls are set to take on the world at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. The documentary follows the medal hopefuls and their trials and tribulations ahead of the games, showing what it takes to qualifying and what necessary training they have had to do following their qualification.

The thirteen athletes featured were carefully selected for the documentary giving insight understanding of just how exceptional these people really are and how they balance the rigorous demands expected of them in order to fulfill their Olympic dream. Lives can change and it certainly has for these athletes, how are they coping, balancing their new Olympic lifestyle and their own home lives. RTE describes the show as “London Calling captures the ecstatic highs and crushing lows as Ireland’s top athletes”.

Who is featured? Obviously my biggest interest in this series will be gymnast Kieran Behan. Kieran’s story is remarkable, I’m sure you have heard it by now. If you haven’t or would like to refresh your memory take a look at some of Full Twist’s previous articles.

Kieran’s story

“What dreams are made of” – Behan qualifies for London 2012 Olympics

Gymnastics Ireland – Kieran Behan secures place in London 2012 Test Event

I’m really looking forward to seeing the episode that Kieran will be featured in, once the date is known it will posted on Full Twist. Also featured are (courtesy of The Journal):

Robert Heffernan, a race walker from Douglas, Cork, and three-time Olympian who could finally achieve his dream of a medal in the Olympics while his wife Marian Heffernan tries to qualify for her first in the Women’s 4 x 400m.

Orla Barry who overcame the loss of both legs as a child to reach a major final as an 18 year old and who will be aiming for Gold in the Paralympic Discus.

Camilla Speirs the bright young star of Irish Three Day Eventing who trains her own horses.

Ciarán Ó Lionáird the young middle distance runner mixing it with the world’s best as part of the Nike Oregon Project.

Michael McKillop a middle distance runner with Cerebral Palsy who is not only Paralympic 800m Champion but also regularly competes with able bodied athletes.

Brian Gregan a 21-year-old 400m sprinter trying to make the breakthrough.

Aileen Morrison Ireland’s leading female triathlete and ranked among the world’s best.

Mark Kenneally a long-distance runner who is looking to qualify for the marathon while running a business full time.

Jamie Costin the Olympic walker as he makes his way back from a broken back while helping out on the family dairy farm.

Catherine Walsh already a five-time Paralympian, with two kids and a full time job who has managed to learn a new discipline and become a World Champion in tandem cycling.

Kenneth Egan as he hoped against hope that he would be able to catch a break to get back into the Olympic boxing team after losing his place and National Championship crown.

Personally, with all of the doom and gloom surrounding our economy at the moment, I am delighted to welcome a documentary which will focus on a positive aspect of Ireland. Wishing every one of these athletes the very best of luck in London.   Tune into RTE 1 on Tuesday at 10.35pm.

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