IT was a week to remember for Ennis Special Olympic Golf Club members, Paul Kirrane and his playing partner Pat Rutherford who were among the medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Kirrane and Rutherford were competing in the nine-hole Alternate Shot Event as part of the Irish team at the World Games and produced some great golf to win a bronze medal.
They were members of the 89 strong Irish team across a total of 13 different sports that competed in the World Games, having qualified for Los Angeles spectacular on the back of winning that National Games title in June of last year.
The World Games, which are held every four years are the showpiece of the Special Olympics organisation and over the course of the weeklong event that started on July 25 and finished on Sunday last there were over 7,000 athletes representing 177 countries taking part.
The opening ceremony took place before 80,000 spectators in the storied Los Angeles Coliseum, the stadium used for both the 1932 and ’84 Olympic Games that produced historic results for Ireland in the shape of the gold medals won by hurdler Bob Tisdall and hammer thrower Dr Pat O’Callaghan (1932) and the bronze by John Treacy (1984) in the marathon.
Speaking on the final day of the competition, Team Ireland CEO Matt English said each and every team member put in an extraordinary performance. “From medals, ribbon placements and personal bests, this has been one of the most successful World Games ever,” he said.
Over the course of the Games, Irish athletes claimed a total of 26 gold, 29 silver and 31 bronze medals. There were also 31 personal bests and 43 placement ribbons.