When the 2014 Winter Olympics open in Sochi on 7th February, SportsNewsIreland expects that the Irish team will include five athletes.
The official squad is due to be announced shortly by the Olympic Council of Ireland.
Ireland has in fact been represented at all but one Winter Games since 1922. The closest we have come to gaining a coveted Olympic medal was in the skeleton event in Salt Lake City back in 2002 when Clifton Wrottesley came fourth.
So who are the likely Irish representatives for 2014? Our prediction is that there will be four males and one female in the official team once announced. These are the only five Irish competitors who have met the stringent qualifying standard.
Best known of the male competitors is Californian teenager, Seamus O’Connor who will compete in the snowboarding disciplines – Seamus, who has been a big hit in United States in recent years,qualifies as his grandparents are from Drogheda and Dublin.
Alpine skier, Conor Lyne, is another likely to take part. Conor’s father comes from Kerry and indeed he speaks with a distinct Kerry accent – after all he visits his cousins in South Kerry most summers.
Sean Greenwood,like Wrottesley some 12 years earlier will compete in the skeleton. Sean is son of a Galway mother and a Canadian father. Cork’s Jan Rossiter will most likely be our Nordic ski representative and the honour of being Ireland’s sole female representative will fall to Florence Bell, the 17 years old from Streetly in the English Midlands who represented Ireland at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics in Austria.
Florence has just returned from Japan where she was racing up to the deadline for selection. She spent the summer training and racing in New Zealand.
SportsNewsIreland will be bringing you more detailed information on the team , and how they qualified in the days ahead.
Still looking for tickets for the Games? Irish residents can still purchase directly from the organisation’s official website.
And finally you will find the full programme of events, day by day, here: