Ray O’Dwyer looking forward to Paralympics in London

Updated: August 20, 2012

It has been a very busy few weeks both on the field and off it. It is hard to believe that the Paralympics are less than 10 days away now.

The last few competitions have gone reasonably well the first of those were the southeast games I had really good discus probably my best of the season and a seasons best in Javelin which was pleasing. Next up I travelled out to the IWAS World Juniors in Czech Republic. Again things went pretty well out there I picked up silver in discus and a new pb of 30.70m. Javelin was also respectable I was up around the 20m mark again. Shot putt was slightly down but I had really been targeting the other two to do well in so two out of three wasn’t bad.

From a team of ten we came home with sixteen medals which was a great achievement but to put it into context there was only 11 countries there with the Europeans just gone and the Paralympics coming up the big guns stayed away. Personally I was really happy coming home it was my last juniors and it was a nice way to finish off. I felt very composed and relaxed in the circle and I achieved my targets I am learning more all the time and I feel I am maturing as an athlete and the results are reflecting that it definitely bodes well for the next few weeks.

The last competition was the Morton Mile pre-Olympic event in Santry again things went reasonably well twenty nines in discus and around twenty metres in javelin shot was again back a bit but that will come good with a bit of work. It was nice to be invited to the meet as there was a great crowd and a decent atmosphere. As regards my training I have gone back and done a good bit of strength work in the gym and just trained through the last few competitions. From now on I will be tapering back down getting more explosive also the volume of the training I do will decrease as it is all about quality and quantity at this stage. My competitions are all in the evening in London so I have adjusted my training to match that also.

Away from training and competition the Irish wheelchair athletes who made the team for London where invited to a special reception to recognise our selection in Dublin. We were each presented with a framed certificate to acknowledge our achievement. We also got to talk to a lot of the kids with disability’s which was great. Hopefully after London these kids and kids with disabilities all over Ireland will want to be the next Jason Smyth or the next Orla Barry that’s what sport is all about inspiring the next generation.

This weekend I am at our last Paralympics Renault camp in Limerick for some final updates. It’s a good chance to get some good training as well and mingle with the rest of the forty nine strong squad. Yesterday was very exciting as we got our kit for London the place was a bit mental with people rushing back to their room to try stuff on. It’s a massive honour to get selected to represent your country and getting my gear really drives that home.

On the 15th of August we have a big send off for all the team and staff with family and friends we will travel out the next day to Coimbra in Portugal for a training camp for a week. It will then be onto London on the 24th and into the Olympic Village. The opening ceremony will be the evening of the 29th of August. My first event will be the F33/34 Javelin on the evening of the 1st next up will be the F34 Shot Putt on the 4th followed by the Discus F33/34 on the evening of the 7th. It will be a busy few days but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t really excited about the challenge.

I am only 22 and this is my first Paralympics so my main targets are season’s bests and personal bests. Medals and finals are out of my reach for now but I will more valuable experience for my development that’s what it’s all about. If I can keep my head down and work hard for the next few weeks I might just achieve my goals the finish line is close. This will be my last update for a while.

Chat soon

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