Irish sport has avoided a “catastrophe.” Seriously. That’s the assessment tonight of the esteemed President of our Olympic Council Pat Hickey.
Ireland are sending a small team to the Winter Olympics, which get underway this weekend, and among our contingent are our first female bobsleighers, Aoife Hoey and Claire Bergin. Their place was under threat as the Australian team argued that they should be entered into the competition instead of them as they were the finest sledders in Oceania (which is, I imagine, akin to being a tall midget) and brought a case to CAS, or the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Thankfully for all involved the case has been decided and now both teams will compete. Crisis averted, common sense prevails. Mainly.
Here’s Hickey’s quote in full:
"It would be outrageous if those girls were stripped of their accreditation and sent back home to Ireland...(all ok so far)...We're already suffering from the football situation of Thierry Henry scoring a goal with his hand and eliminating us from the World Cup finals....(true but what has that got to do with this?)...if something like this happened it would be a catastrophe altogether."
For Pat’s sake, I hope that was said with his tongue firmly in his cheek.