Ireland receives far more rain than snow. And it is more likely to be bathed by warm, moist breezes off the Gulf Stream than slapped with bracing Arctic blasts. It comes as no surprise then that the island produces for more world-class athletes in such sports as soccer and track and field than in, say, ice hockey or bobsledding.
So it was a pleasant surprise that a handful of Irish people, most of them part of the not-so-distant diaspora, came away with medals at the recently concluded Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The Echo and all of Irish America salute Ireland’s Olympians. Hockey players Owen Nolan, a Belfast native, and Geraldine Heaney, from Lurgan, each won gold for the Canadian hockey teams. American figure skater Sarah Hughes, whose grandfather played professional soccer in Ireland, also took home gold, as did Irish American Jim Shea, a third generation Olympian, who won the newly revived skeleton competition. Just out of the medal hunt in that event, in fourth, was Galway native Lord Clifton Wrottesley.
Swifter, higher, stronger indeed.