Irish Life

5 Years On, Remembering The Utter Mania In Ireland At Katie Taylor's Olympic Gold

5 Years On, Remembering The Utter Mania In Ireland At Katie Taylor's Olympic Gold

God, was it five years ago already?

Where were you on August 9th, 2012?

For over one million people, they sat on front of their televisions that evening and saw Katie Taylor become Olympic champion. RTE revealed that 1.1 million watched Taylor defeat Sofya Ochigava to become the first Olympic lightweight champion.

And while well over a million were in their homes watching the fight, thousands more were in bars and offices around the country watching Taylor win Ireland's first Olympic gold in the boxing ring since 1992.

Balls (still in our infancy back then) went out to Katie's hometown of Bray for the day to watch with the locals. We were a lot younger back then, so please forgive the choice of music.

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London's ExCel Arena was also packed. Comedian and Bray native Dara O'Briain was there working for the BBC. Before Taylor even made her way to the ring, he revealed it was too much for Princess Anne.

The noise when Taylor entered the ExCel Arena was among the loudest heard in the venue as the Irish fans found their voice.

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Beyond the madness of London and Bray, anywhere in Ireland with a big screen had the fight on that evening. Dublin's Heuston Station turned into a makeshift cinema for commuters to catch the bout on their way home.

While the country went metal at Taylor's win, it was Raidio na Gaeltachta's Seán Bán Breathnach who best emotionally described the win.

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Has Amhrán na bhFiann ever been sung as loud in London? The Excel Arena shook at its foundations as Taylor was presented with her gold medal by Pat Hickey.

The nation had followed Taylor's quest for Olympic gold for years. London 2012 teammate and triathlete Aileen Reid described it best about how the nation felt.

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Taylor's feat became international news. We'll leave the last word to Hollywood royalty.

 

 

 

Daniel Kelly

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