Ireland's Kellie Harrington takes gold at Olympics with most LGBTQ+ athletes ever 

The Dublin woman captured the nation's hearts as well as the ultimate sporting achievement..

A smiling sportswoman holding a gold medal

With this year’s Olympic Games seeing the largest amount of openly LGBTQ+ athletes take part, Irish woman Kellie Harrington became Ireland’s latest sporting hero, bringing home the Gold.

While Harrington had the support of the country behind her, it was her local community in Portland Row who cheered loudest of all.

There’s been nothing but praise for Kellie Harrington, for her athletic prowess, but also her big heart. Her longtime partner, Mandy O’Loughlin, told the Ryan Turbridy Show, “I don’t know how she has the energy to spread herself around the way she does. And the things she does, she gives back so much to people.

“The amount of messages I’ve gotten from people saying, ‘she’s done this for me’ or ‘she’s dropped that into me’. It blows my mind how the girl has energy or time to do anything else.”

“She brings 110 percent to whatever she does. She brings the craic, she brings passion and excitement. If you meet Kellie and you are talking to her, she just makes you want to be a better person.”

Team Ireland’s Aoife Cooke, also a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, was forced to withdraw from the marathon event on Sunday after gruelling conditions and extreme heat saw 15 athletes leave the race early. Fellow Team Ireland runner Fionnuala McCormack put in a great showing, finishing in 25th place.

In other Olympic news, Tom Daly commented on the surge in homophobic and transphobic commentary on Russian TV networks throughout the Games. Daly, and trans athlete Laurel Hubbard, were particularly targeted.

“I had no idea,” Daly said, “when we’re at the Olympics, we’re in a bubble and we don’t really see anything. History shows that everything that society is has been dictated from the straight, white, male experience.

“If we could come together and use different points of view, the world would be a better place.”

For many reasons, it’s been an Olympics to remember, and for the Irish LGBTQ+ community, it was amazing to see Kellie Harrington bring back the Gold.

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