A DELIGHTED Sonia O’Sullivan says that carrying the Olympic torch during its brief visit to Ireland will be a particularly special honour for her.
O’Sullivan, who is the Irish Chef de Mission for the London 2012 games, will run one of the starting legs when the symbolic flame comes to Dublin on 6 June.
Pat Hickey, president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, confirmed the news of O’Sullivan’s involvement last night. The Cobh native, who won Olympic silver in Sydney 12 years ago, is the first torchbearer to be officially confirmed for the Dublin route.
“It’s a huge honour to be asked to carry the Olympic torch,” O’Sullivan told RTÉ Morning Ireland today. “It’s the symbol of the Olympics for so many people, not just the athletes but everybody.”
For myself this year, I’m obviously Chef de Mission for the Irish team but to also be asked to carry the torch makes an even greater connection for myself with the Olympics.
It has a really, really deep meaning for any athlete to be involved. The flame is the origin of the Olympics.
Exact details of the Olympic relay are still to be finalised, although an OCI spokesman told TheScore.ie in December that organisers are strongly considering a large public celebration in Dublin city centre.
Hickey also confirmed last night that Barcelona ’92 medallists Michael Carruth and Wayne McCullough will be involved in the symbolic border crossing in Newry.
O’Sullivan says that she’s “not 100% sure yet” exactly where she will carry the torch.
“I think it’s somewhere around O’Connell Street. I think I’ll probably be one of the starting legs when it comes to Dublin.
“There’s going to be a symbolic crossing at the border, so there’ll be a lot of children involved there from the local schools on both sides in Drogheda and Newry. Then it will come by car to Dublin and I think I will be one of the first torchbearers.
“It’s still in the early planning stages, so I haven’t seen a route yet. I’m just delighted to be involved and to be one of the first torchbearers announced is fantastic.”