Like many others in the country, I have been watching the Olympics in Rio with great interest. But I have a certain affinity for the Irish Mens Hockey team, as I see some familiar faces.
I was Physio for the Irish U18's Hockey team at the European Nations Cup in Rotterdam in 2002 and Barcelona in 2003. Ireland were the complete underdogs, no other country rated them at all. But I think that's the position in which Ireland likes to be.
Each time the team arrived at the grounds, they played "It's a beautiful day" by U2 on their ghetto-blaster. It certainly drew the attention of the other teams, and perhaps, it intimidated the opposition, just as much as it motivated the squad. They came away from the tournament in 2002 as the surprise winners, taking the Gold medal, and in 2003 with the Silver medal. These were amazing achievements, which I will never forget it! Even as a member of the back room team, I was delighted to receive a medal each year.
Here's a little memory for the lads from the 2002 and 2003 Irish U18's Hockey team;
"Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negatives and latch on to the affirmatives, don't mess with Mr. in-between"
Congratulations to the whole team on being Olympians, best of luck with your final pool games today against Canada and tomorrow against Argentina.