'It takes a specific type of person to give 15 years of their lives to run that risk' – The42

SATURDAY AFTERNOON, MELBOURNE, Australia. It is 4.30pm local time and still the wee small hours back home. Bear with us as we briefly travel back in time, to 1956, the 1500m Olympic final, a field so competitive that the defending champion is eliminated in the heats.

Twelve men enter the arena, one leaves as an icon, his name subsequently carved onto marble at the stadium entrance.

Ronnie Delany believes it was his destiny to win that day but few others get to feel that way. Theirs is a life of sacrifice without the reward. “An Olympian is someone who tests themselves against the best in their sport, someone who takes risks – who is prepared to be less equipped for the life that follows their sporting career,” says Ben Fletcher, Irish judo’s medal hope.

“I’m 29. Most other 29-year-olds are set on a (nine-to-five)

Continue reading this atricle at https://www.the42.ie/irish-olympic-team-5411396-Apr2021/