Olympic Torch Relay
Trinity College Dublin was represented in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay when it came through the streets of Dublin on June 6th by students Aine Ni Choisdealbha, Natalya Coyle and Mark Kenneally and alumnus Mark Pollock. These four candidates were selected to represent Trinity based on their contribution to the community as well as sporting and academic prowess.
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. Trinity College Dublin was the only Irish university to participate in the relay which included 31 other universities across the UK as well as Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers passed the Olympic Flame as it made its way through Ireland and the UK on its 70 day journey which started on May 19th.
The Trinity Olympic Torchbearers:
Aine Ni Choisdealbha
A Trinity Scholar in her first year at Trinity College Dublin, Aine was also awarded a prestigious Trinity Gold Medal in 2011 for the outstanding results achieved in her Psychology degree. She is now studying for an MSc in Neuroscience and her research on human perception has made an international impact. A fluent Irish speaker, Aine has served as Education Officer for the University of Dublin Psychology Society and was also assistant editor of Icarus Magazine, Trinity College's creative writing journal which celebrates its 60th birthday this year. She has published poetry and campaigned for social issues affecting young women. Alongside her remarkable academic achievements, Aine has also been involved in the TCD Voluntary Tuition programme which provides tuition to children from disadvantaged areas of Dublin city.
Position: Junction Lower Grand Canal Street to Hogan Place/Holles Street Junction
Natalya is a student of Business, Economics and Social Studies and one of Trinity College Dublin's top athletes. She is on course for qualification to London 2012 in the sport of Modern Pentathlon. Natalya’s immense sporting abilities are reflected in her current World Junior Ranking of 10th and World Senior Ranking of 43rd. As a TCD sports scholarship recipient in 2010 and 2011, Natalya has also dominated at Irish Intervarsity level and would take great pride in carrying the Olympic Flame as part of the Dublin celebrations. Natalya balances the demands of competing at such a high level in five sports, together with the academic commitments of studying for a degree.
Position: Nassau Street/Dawson Street Junction to Nassau Street/Kildare Street junction
Mark is a source of great pride for Trinity College Dublin, becoming its first London 2012 Olympic qualifier. He achieved the Marathon qualifying time in Amsterdam in October 2011 having previously represented Ireland at European and World Cross Country Championships. Mark has represented Trinity College Dublin with great distinction over the years and his outstanding academic and sporting abilities were recognised through Sports Scholarships in 2002 and 2003. Mark started his athletics career with Raheny Shamrock AC and is now a member of Clonliffe Harriers AC. He has successfully balanced his pursuit of excellence in both sport and scholarship while studying initially for a BSc in Physiotherapy and currently as a PhD student in Physiology. He is the reigning National Senior 10,000 Champion and was awarded the Athletics Ireland Cross-Country Athlete of the Year in 2010.
Position: Patrick Street / Bull Alley Street to Christchurch Place
Unbroken by the loss of his sight at 22 years of age and a paralysing fall 13 years later, Trinity graduate, Mark Pollock, has competed against professional explorers like Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Olympic gold medalists and special forces personnel: all able-bodied athletes. And he did so in a world of total darkness. For the last decade, the blind adventure athlete competed in some of the harshest environments worldwide. He has run a marathon at The North Pole, raced through the desert lowlands of the Syrian African Rift Valley to the Dead Sea and competed at high-altitude in the Everest Marathon. After a life threatening fall last year, Mark is now competing against his spinal cord injury. Paralysed from the waist down, Mark's next adventure race is against his own body, challenging conventional wisdom that there is no way out this time.
Position: Grand Canal Theatre to Clarence Place/Macken Street