by Robert Jordan


As part of Special Olympics 2003 I was selected to help carry the Olympic Torch from Athens to Ireland. This entailed training for approximately six months before the event. Ten athletes, supported by 150 Law Enforcement Officers, left Athens on 28 May 2003, via three routes.

My route took me through Istanbul, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Brussels and then via Euro-tunnel through England, visiting London, Glasgow and finally on to Belfast, where we met up with the entire team. My trip through Ireland brought me to Letterkenny, Galway, Clare and Waterford—where the entire team met again.

The highlight of the trip was the carrying of the Torch into Enniscorthy to be greeted by my family, my workmates, my friends and especially Tommy McElwaine, who had helped me so much while training.

The Torch Run finally ended in Phoenix Park at the Opening Ceremony of Special Olympic World Summer Games 2003, where I had the honour of meeting the President, Mary McAleese.

My grandmother, who died recently, took a great interest in the Torch Run and was extremely proud of me.

I have lovely memories of the journey—of the friends I made and of the places I visited.