Eve Mccrystal and Katie-George Dunlevy in action in Tokyo
Dundalk cyclist Eve McCrystal and tandem partner Katie-George Dunlevy were among those honoured with the Irish Times/ Sport Ireland Outstanding Achievement Award 2021 which was presented to the Team Ireland medallists from Tokyo 2020.
McCrystal, who is a sighted pilot for Dunlevy, were two of the nine women who performed superbly at the Olympic and Paralympic Games during the summer, winning seven medals in total.
In fact, the tandem cyclists were responsible for three of those medals. In the space of one gruelling week, they began with silver in the individual pursuit.
Then it was double gold, first in the tandem time trial and then the road race to add to a collection which already includes a Paralympic gold and silver from Rio and a stack of World Championship medals.
After winning their second gold in the road race, a delighted McCrystal explained they had to take a chance.
“As a pilot, I found that course so stressful in the rain. As Katie said, we were just losing ground on the descent. On the climb, I found it tough due to the on-off during the race.
“I just said to Katie with about two kilometres to go, ‘we are going to have to kick on the last little drag up.’ The British bike are the current world champions.
“I didn’t want to take them to the line, so we had to chance it. We chanced it, we got the gap, and we just went for it. I cannot believe we did that. Double Paralympic champions – oh my God almighty.”
The Outstanding Achievement Award was accepted on behalf of the Team Ireland medallists Tokyo 2020 by Ellen Keane and Eimear Lambe from the Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers at an awards ceremony in Dublin recently. Due to covid, this year’s ceremony was streamed live online.
“It’s so important that our young people and especially girls have role models in sport to look up to and to emulate” stated the Fianna Fail TD.
“We are fortunate to have had so many brilliant sportswomen who have excelled across so many different sports this year and I am confident they have inspired a future generation of stars to get involved in sport and physical activity.”
“Congratulations to all the monthly award winners whose incredible feats achieved in 2021 lifted their communities, their counties and their country this year.”
The duo was honoured for their achievements at Tokyo with the RTE Sports Team of the Year award last month, seeing off stiff competition from the Meath lady footballers, Leinster Rugby and Olympic gold medallists Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy.
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