Trinity Olympians - Celebrating a 100 Years of Participation by Trinity Students in the Olympic Games
Jun 07, 2012
Trinity College Dublin hosted a special event on June 6th last to celebrate the participation of students, past and present in the Olympic Games over the last 100 years and to honour current students participating in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
A total of 45 Trinity graduates have taken part in the Olympic Games since 1908. Many of the Trinity Olympians were present at the event, as were the TCD students who participated in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
Trinity Olympians Robbert van Mesdag, Maeve Kyle, Robin Tamplin and Shirley Armstrong.
Three Trinity College Dublin students, Áine Ní Choisdealbha, Natalya Coyle and Mark Kenneally. and one graduate, Mark Pollock carried the Olympic Flame on June 6th through the streets of Dublin as part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. One of those students, Mark Kenneally will be competing in the London Olympics, having achieved the Marathon qualifying time in Amsterdam in October 2011. Natalya Coyle is on course for qualifying in the sport of Modern Pentathlon. As a presenting partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, Samsung opened up a nomination process at Trinity College Dublin to find inspiring young students who would carry the Olympic Flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. Based on their contribution to the community as well as sporting and academic prowess three Trinity students the three students were selected.
The Trinity Olympic Torch Bearers joined the Trinity Olympians at the special event celebrating past and present sporting prowess at the university.
Prolific Trinity Olympians* include:
Ronan Tynan, Athletics
Ronan Tynan graduated in medicine in 1993 and participated in the 1984 Summer Paralympic Games and the Seoul Paralympic Games in 1988 in South Korea. Between 1984 and 1988, Tynan won 18 Gold Medals and set 14 World records at various national and international events. As a globally recognised tenor, he has performed five times in the White House for the US President and has recorded four albums with the Irish Tenors. Tynan competed at two Paralympic Games in 1984 and in 1988. He won 3 Gold and Silver in 1984 and a Gold, Silver and Bronze in 1988. Ronan was awarded the Outstanding Athlete of the Games in 1984.
David Wilkins, Sailing
David Wilkins is Ireland’s most capped Summer Olympian. A graduate of engineering he participated in the five Olympic Games: Munich (1972), Montreal (1976), Moscow (1980), Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992). He won Ireland’s only Olympic medal in yachting in 1980 in the Moscow Olympic where he teamed up with fellow Trinity graduate Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman class, a Mixed Two-Person Heavyweight dinghy. They achieved 4 second-place finishes in the races and won the Silver Medal, Ireland’s only Olympic medal in yachting since Ireland first competed in this sport in 1948.
Maeve Kyle, Athletics
Maeve Kyle, a graduate of Trinity in 1950, competed in the 100m and 200m at the Melbourne Olympic Games in Australia in 1956 and also qualified for the Rome Olympic Games in 1960, competing in the 100m and 200m. She became Ireland’s first triple Olympian at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964 at age 36, where she reached the semi-finals of both the 400 m and 800 m. In 1961 she became the first Irish woman to win a British AAA title at 440 yds in 56.3. Her contribution to athletics and sport in general has been recognised locally and nationally by many awards.
Commenting on the achievement of Trinity students and graduates in the Olympic Games, Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “The Olympic Games is of course the great testing ground of sporting excellence. Reaching the summit of human achievement, however, is only one aspect of the Olympic Games, and it is also only one aspect of sport in Trinity.”
“We encourage our students to get involved in sports and we invest in sporting facilities, not only because we are training elite athletes but because sport allows people to struggle, to achieve, to help and connect with others, as well as to compete with them, to break down barriers, whether class, race, gender or disability based.”
“That’s why we do our best to schedule our academic syllabus around sporting needs; that’s why employers seek graduates whose college participation went beyond the lecture room to the playing fields; and that’s why Trinity’s four torch bearers represent not only sporting excellence but the spirit of social inclusion and triumph over adversity. These are the values I see in our Trinity Olympians. These are the values we have celebrated in this university for hundreds of years, and that we celebrate today.’’