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Meet Ireland's Olympic Team: Paddy Barnes

Team Ireland’s flag-bearer is vying to make history on his third appearance at the Games.

Barnes with his parents Paddy and Ellen at Dublin Airport before departing for Brazil.
Barnes with his parents Paddy and Ellen at Dublin Airport before departing for Brazil.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Event: Boxing

Who is he? As if you don’t know… Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes is one of the country’s most-experienced and best-loved athletes. Such is his popularity and importance to Team Ireland, he has been chosen to carry the tricolour at the opening ceremony on 5 August.

Olympic CV: A bronze medallist at the Bejing Olympics of 2008 and again four years later in London, 29-year-old Barnes will be aiming for another podium finish at his third Games.

Road to Rio: Along with close friend Michael Conlan, Barnes took part in the World Series of Boxing and the pair clinched places at this year’s Olympics with victories in Venezuala back in April 2015.

When does he start? The men’s boxing begins the day after the opening ceremony, on Saturday 6 August, and Barnes is scheduled to fight in the light-flyweight preliminaries. Team-mates David Oliver Joyce and Joe Ward are also in action on the day.

Where can I follow him? He’s good craic on the old Twitter and you should like his official Facebook page too.

What he says: “We’ve a team full of world champions, European champions, Olympic champions and European medalists. It’s a team with crazy talent.

I’m not even saying this because I’m part of the team but realistically, we can come home with eight medals.” – (The42, July 2016)

Medal chances: With three Olympic Games under his belt, Barnes may finally opt to go professional after Rio, and if that is the case he would love nothing more than to leave the amateur game on a high by adding to his medal haul.

He would also be making history as the first Irish athlete to win medals at three successive Games.

Supremely-confident, hugely-talented and with experience in abundance, you wouldn’t put it past him achieving that goal and cementing his place in the record books.

Barnes gets top marks — five Jerries out of five.

5 Jerries

And here’s something you probably didn’t know…

He was recently the victim of mistaken identity on RTÉ News.

Paddy Barnes mistaken identity Source: Twitter/paddb_ireland

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Meet Ireland’s Olympic team: Tori Pena

About the author:

Ben Blake

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