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Team Ireland at the Special Olympics

Ambassador Anne Anderson attended the Special Olympics ceremony in Los Angeles with Irish Consul General Philip Grant and Vice Consul Kevin Byrne who represent Ireland in the Western United States.

Ambassador Anderson with members of Team Ireland

The Irish team consists of 128 members and 40 coaches. There are also over 200 volunteers from Ireland and the Irish in California. Actor Colin Farrell, former athlete John Treacy, who had won an Olympic silver medal at that same stadium 31 years ago and Ms. Claudine Keane joined the athletes at the opening ceremony for the walk out into the main stadium.  

The games were officially opened by the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. During her address the First Lady spoke of the athletes’ ability to unify people. “You're bringing us together. You're filling us with so much hope. And you're uniting us in a way that nothing else can," she said.

While in Los Angeles, Ambassador Anne Anderson had the pleasure of cheering on Team Ireland in a football match against Iceland as part of the games. The Ambassador talked of the pride and joy in seeing the Irish athletes in LA for the games.

Members of Team Ireland proudly show their medals!

“The pride is deeper because everyone knows the challenging journey that the athletes have travelled. Nothing has been handed to them on a plate; everything has been earned,” she said.  “There has been so much sorrow after Berkeley; this is a moment when the sun shines through.”

Consul General Philip Grant and Vice Consul Kevin Byrne welcome Team Ireland

Side by side celebrating the spirit of our special athletes North & South. 

The Embassy and the San Francisco Consulate would like to convey a message of good luck to all of the athletes who are still competing and a ‘well done’ to all of those who have done so already. The hard efforts of the past year preparing for the Games have already led to tremendous success.

For updates, please follow @IrelandSanFran, @SOIreland and @SO_Ulster