The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has hailed Katie Taylor’s gold medal win and said that her victory has lifted the spirits of the nation.
Taylor won an historic gold medal at the London Olympics today following a 10-8 win over Russian lightweight Sofya Ochigava at the ExCel in London.
“Katie Taylor has lifted the spirit of the nation with her magnificent gold medal winning performance at the London Olympics,” said the Irish President.
“I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Katie, who has represented this country with such courage, skill and pride over many years.
“She truly deserves this historic and hard earned victory. It is a just reward for her dedication and commitment over the years.
“This is a wonderful day for Katie and her family and friends, who have supported her over the years – and all Irish people, wherever they are, will enjoy and share in this heart warming occasion.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny also praised the four-time AIBA World champion.
“Katie Taylor is not only an Olympic champion, she is a force of nature whose pioneering spirit and boxing brilliance have seen her realise her personal dream of winning Olympic gold,”
“She has won the hearts and minds of the Irish people who admire her greatly and love her to bits.”
“Amidst it all Katie’s warmth and humility shine through,” he added.
“Her parents have been her guiding light but the exceptional relationship between Peter and Katie, her coach and father, has had a powerful impact on her career.”
Sports Minister Leo Varadkar said Ireland was proud.
“Katie has already won world and European titles but I think her gold medal win today is the ultimate prize for her.”
“She is a trailblazer for women’s boxing and has won the respect and acclaim nationally and internationally of her fellow athletes.
“She more than deserves the acclaim she has unanimously received and we are enormously proud of her. I hope she enjoys every moment of her win. She now joins a very elite group of athletes worldwide who have achieved Olympic gold.”
Junior Minister Michael Ring, who was at ringside at the ExCel, said: “The roof almost lifted here in the arena. The atmosphere was simply electric.
“I’ve always said that sport can lift the nation and Katie’s win today certainly proves that. She is a fantastic role model and I hope her win today will inspire others to take up the sport and to follow in her footsteps.”