Ireland at the Olympics

Irish athletes have been participating in the Summer Games since the first of the modern Olympics, though not always under their own banner. Ireland first competed at the Olympic Games in 1924 as Irish Free State. Prior to this, Irish athletes competed as part of Great Britain. Also, at early Olympics, Irish-born athletes won numerous medals for the United States.

In 1908, native-born Irishmen participated in the London Games with legendary names like Martin Sheridan, Tim Ahearne, John Flanagan and Robert Kerr. This delegation won 8 gold, 17 silver and 8 bronze medals from the Olympics which is yet to be equaled before or since. Also in 1908, there was a team from Ireland (representing Great Britain) in field hockey and polo.

The Olympic Council of Ireland was established in 1922 which was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee just in time for them to join the 1924 Summer Games held in Paris, France with a rather large delegation consisting of 49 athletes. However, in July 30, 1928, they had their first taste of Olympic gold when Pat O'Callaghan won the men's hammer throw in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

He is officially considered as the first Irish Olympic medalist but he certainly will not be the last. As a matter of fact, in 1932, they will follow this up with two more gold medals. Pat O'Callaghan dominated the men's hammer throw earning his second Olympic gold but this time, he was joined by Bob Tisdall who also took the top spot in the men's 400m hurdles.

Ireland missed the 1936 Summer Games and returned in 1948 and has never been absent to the Summer Olympics since then.

Ireland has also participated in the Winter Olympics since 1992 missing only the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Unlike in the Summer Olympics where they have won quite a few medals, they are yet to take home their first from their Winter Olympians.



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