Snowboarder with Louth roots competing for Team Ireland at Winter Olympics
One of the Team Ireland athletes competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics Games is Seamus O’Connor - who has Louth roots.
Although born in San Diego, Seamus (20) qualifies for Ireland because his paternal grandparents came from Drogheda and Dublin.
The Olympic Council of Ireland announced that O’Connor, will be Ireland’s flag bearer at the Parade of Nations during the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang on Friday, 9th February.
O’Connor will lead a team of five Irish athletes competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics. These athletes are Alpine Skiers Tess Arbez and Patrick McMillian, Cross Country Skier, Thomas Westgard and Half Pipe Skier, Brendan ‘Bubba’ Newby. The Winter Olympics are taking place from 9th to 25th February.
Speaking about the announcement Seamus O’Connor said: “It’s a great honour for me and my family that I have been chosen to be the Irish flag bearer. As a double Olympian, I feel privileged to be a part of Team Ireland, a tight group of athletes and performance support staff representing Ireland on the world stage striving to be the best we can be.”
The Parade of Nations will be held at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium with over 90 nations participating in the ceremony.
O'Connor's Dad, Kevin, grew up in England and his mother is Russian. Seamus made history in Sochi 2014 when he was not only Ireland's first ever Olympic snowboarder but the competition's youngest competitor at 16.
He made the semi-finals in both slopestyle and half-pipe but a fall on his final trick cost him his place in the half-pipe final. He finished high school 18 months later and has not yet started college.
In September 2016 he tore all the ligaments in one knee in a bad fall at a World Cup in New Zealand.
He needed surgery and a full year out of the sport to recover but successfully came back last Winter to qualify for PyeongChang.
To protect his knee he now just competes in half-pipe.
He is Team Ireland's only previous Olympian.
Snowboard – Men’s Halfpipe Qualifications – Start Time: 04:00am. Irish End Time 05:50am
Snowboard – Men’s Halfpipe Final – Irish Start Time: 01:30am. Irish End Time 03:00am