Ray O’Dwyer “Its been a good year”

It’s been awhile since my last update it’s been a rather hectic few weeks I could probably have wrote three or four blogs but it did my best to put it all in one. The London 2012 Paralympic games are now all done and dusted. What an experience it was. The best place to start I suppose is the action on the field.

Javelin was first up on the 1st of September things went ok but I was a good bit down on what my target at eighteen and a half meters well of my pb at 21.10. My first throw was fouled for the tip not coming down first that was by far my longest up around the 20 meter mark if I would have got that things could have been different but those are the margins in top level sport. If s but and maybe s

Shot Putt was next up on the 4th I really wanted to make amends for my Javelin competition as I felt I just had n I will take a few weeks off now to rest and recover and just catch up with friends and let my hair t performed for whatever reason. But again I came up shot 8.86 being my best distance well off my pb. I was disappointed again but I felt a lot of things were good my warm up check marks in the circle my distances were just not long enough. On reflection it was my first Paralympics everything can’t be perfect. It was also my first time ever competing in a stadium with 80,000 people the sheer volume of noise was incredible to be in the middle of all that competing was a phenomenal experience.

Discus was my last event it has always been my favourite of the three so I was really hoping for a good performance to finish off on a high. Looking back a few weeks on it was always going to be the event I did best in as I was kind of struggling a bit in training with the other too I suppose subconsciously I was a bit nervous and uptight before the other two also. I trained well before discus and on the day my warm up was good. I find the more you do something the easier it is my first two competitions were almost my first practise throws with discus being the first competition throws.

Again I was well down the order to throw so it was just a matter of relaxing and staying loose and hydrated and enjoying the show that was going on around me. My first two practise throws were really sweet an up around PB territory. I got a little excited and put my first competition throw into the cage. The next two throws were much better I relaxed got my check marks and had bit of a laugh at myself. My third throw was the longest at 30.24 not a season best or a personal best but not far off.

I finally got the performance I was looking for after a lot of disappointment it was a very emotional moment but such a great moment to have done what I came to do eventually. My final positions are irrelevant as these games was really about gaining experience that s exactly what I got a stadium full with 80,000 people each night you just cannot buy that. The games itself were absolutely phenomenally run London deserves a huge pat on the back everyone from officials to the thousands of volunteers nothing was too much trouble and their enthusiasm and spirit along with all the fans inside and outside the stadium made the games what it was a truly wonderful experience.

For a team of 49 athletes and 47 support staff a haul of 16 medals was an awesome return. The greatest Irish Paralympic team ever. It was great every day to come back into the village and see people s results and medals it was a huge boost.

Although there were 10 individuals sport s we were all very much one unit credit has to go to everyone at Paralympics Ireland for that. It was a pleasure to share the experience with so many other people and I think that’s what made the whole thing so great. Hopefully Paralympic sport in Ireland will thrive after London. I also hope that people who enjoyed the Paralympics will stay interested in Paralympic sport in Ireland and support the team on the road to Rio. I was great so see the amount of people out to wish us well before well went and when we touched back down in Dublin after the games long may it continue.

I have to thank my family for the last year as I know I haven’t been the easiest to live with over the last twelve months. It was great that they could travel over to the games and enjoy the atmosphere too. My coach also deserves huge credit although he won’t want it he was steered me in the right direction over the last few years and it is as much a testament to his work as mine as to where I am today he always hammers home the positives.

It’s been a good year for me, I’ve competed in the Paralympics’, won 2 world junior medals, 1 European silver and set a new Irish record in shot in and discus but there’s so much more to do. I will take a few weeks off now to rest and recover and just catch up with friends and let my hair down for a while. We will have world championships in France in 2013 so the fun will start in October again Rio will arrive in a flash

Talk soon


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