Wave goodbye: Orla Barry. SPORTSFILE
Rebel Retirement

'I achieved everything that I set out to achieve' - Double Paralympic medallist Orla Barry retires

The Cork discus thrower claimed silver and bronze in Rio and London.

DOUBLE PARALYMPIC MEDALLIST Orla Barry has announced her retirement.

The Cork native represented Ireland at three Paralymic Games in the F57 Discus, landing bronze at London 2012 and silver at Rio 2016.

A former world record holder in the event, Barry bows out having won nine medals at major events through her 13-year career as a high performance Para athlete.

Barry represented Ireland at the Beijing Games as an 18-year-old in 2008, and recorded a fifth-place finish. In London, she clinched her first Paralympic medal and went one better in Rio with silver. 

In 2013, Barry broke the world record and won silver at the World Para Athletics Championship in Lyon. Two years later, she repeated the medal feat in Doha while she won European silver in 2014.

Before her Parlaympic silver in 2016, Barry claimed gold at the European Championships. She did so again in Berlin in 2018, and so retires as the F57 Discus European Champion.

“I have had a wonderful career in Paralympic Sport,” 30-year-old Barry said. “I achieved everything that I set out to achieve when I first started competing as a 14-year-old girl.

I have some amazing memories that I will cherish forever and I have worked with brilliant coaches, competed alongside some incredible athletes and made some lifelong friends.

“I am entering into a new period in my life as I am building a new house, planning my wedding next year and embarking on a new career. I feel that now is the right time to step away from the sport while I am still at the top and knowing that I would struggle to give the commitment and single minded focus to reach the standards that I have always set for myself and that the sport deserves.

“I would like to thank my coach of 17 years, Pat Furlong, my fellow Irish Paralympic team mates, the staff and support staff at Paralympics Ireland and Sport Ireland for supporting me throughout my career.

“I would especially like to thank my family who have been a huge part of my journey and without whom I would not have enjoyed the great success that I achieved.”

Paralympics Ireland President, John Fulham, and Sport Ireland Director of High Performance, Paul McDermott, added some kind words for Barry and you can read them, and the statement in full, here.

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