This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018

Meet Ireland's Olympic team: Kieran Behan

Ireland’s only male gymnast is one of the most inspirational athletes heading to Rio.

Kieran Behan Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Event: Men’s floor apparatus.

Who is he? Kieran Behan became the first ever Irish gymnast to qualify for an Olympic Games four years ago and he’s overcome further adversity to reach Rio. He defied all the odds to represent Ireland in London after battling injury and illness but he is a genuine medal contender this time around.

Where’s he from? The 27-year-old was born in London to Irish parents and he bases himself at the Tolworth Gymnastics club in Surrey.

Olympic CV: A fatal mistake cost him dearly in London as he missed out on the final but Behan has made it clear that he has unfinished business to attend to at his second Olympics.

Road to Rio: Behan secured qualification at the Rio Test Event in May as he won silver in the HSBC Barra Olympic Arena.

Where can I follow him? He’s well worth a follow on Twitter and, in particular, Instagram for a glimpse into the life of an Olympian.

What he says: “Rio is a chance of redemption for me. I want to focus on achieving my goal and the aim is to make two finals. I’m a realist and I know in sport that anything can happen but as long as I know I’ve done everything then I won’t have any regrets.” (The42, May 2016)

Medal chances: Behan was desperately unlucky to miss out on a medal at the European Games last summer but he’s in the best shape of his career this year. His first goal is to go one better than London, and make the final, but from there who knows what’s possible.


And here’s something you probably didn’t know: At the age of 10, Behan was told he would never walk again after an operation on a benign tumour on his thigh went wrong.

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!

Read more of The42′s Team Ireland profiles here >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next: