(NOV 26) The crowds, from
near and far, and the usual 'media representatives', including
national TV, gathered at Dublin Airport this evening to honour
one of the country's all time greats in the world of sport, as
Katie Taylor arrived at Terminal One proudly displaying yet
another Gold medal won far from her native Bray.
The Wicklow woman seems to make a habit of collecting Gold since
that first European title in 2005 and she and the rest of the
Irish squad of Michaela Walsh, Joanne Lambe and Clare Grace plus
coaches, received the red carpet treatment after the long trip
home from the AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships in Jeju,
This was a familiar trip for Katie Taylor whose Gold collection
now includes 17 major International medals (all Gold) : One
Olympic, Five Worlds, Six Europeans and Five European Union
titles - all in a row.
The journey home began as early as 04.00 local on Tuesday
morning , so a long and tiring trip to London before the short
hop from Heathrow to Dublin. If the boxers were tired and
anxious to get home to their family and friends they still spent
time chatting to their fans, lots of whom are avid fans of the
World champion and her colleagues and many more are already
members of local boxing clubs in their own home towns.
Taylor's team mates also enjoyed a great reception but were glad
to get back on home soil. Michaela Walsh later told her Social
Media fan club : "6 airplanes and 1 month later and I'm finally
back home to Belfast... no place like home ahhhh...
— feeling happy".
Taylor had matched Indian legend Mary Kom in Jeju when claiming
her fifth consecutive lightweight title.
Speaking at Dublin Airport, the irish champion said she was
overwhelmed with the reception from her devoted fans.
“It’s an absolute privilege to come home as a World champion to
see the people here today. These people have been there
supporting me from the very start when I first won my first
Taylor admitted that Kom’s record was on her mind in Jeju.
“I was thinking about it all week, I was hoping that I was going
to equal that record.
“But it’s been such a tough year with the European and World
Championships, two major competitions. It’s just a relief.”
Katie Taylor is greeted by fans at Dublin Airport (courtesy:
Taylor added that
her first stop tonight would be her grandmother’s house.
“The first place I always go too is my granny to show her the
Taylor’s grandmother – for the record – has now seen one
Olympic, five World, six European and five European Union – all
gold – medals and enough multi-nation golds to fill a garden
Tommy Murphy, President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association,
described Taylor as 'a source of consistent pride'.
“The Irish squad did their country proud at the World Women’s
Championships. To win one World title is extremely difficult,
but to win five is phenomenal. She is a consistent source of
pride for the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.”
The IABA President, CEO Fergal Carruth, and head coach Billy
Walsh were among those who attended today’s homecoming along
with IABA officials.
Irish Sports Council Chief John Tracey also attended today’s
homecoming. The Irish squad and staff have been in training camp
and competition in Jeju since the beginning of this month.
Ireland's Joanne Lambe with club coach and Irish Pro.boxer,
Christina McMahon TV, Radio and Media take their turn
So what next for
Ireland's 'Golden Girl'? Speaking to Johnny Watterson of 'The
Irish Times' she made it clear she has no intention of resting
on her laurels.
Another tilt at a sixth title perhaps?
“It’s very, very doable,” she said. “I was thinking about it all
week and I was hoping to equal the record. I don’t think it has
quite sunk in yet.”
“I like to be a role model for those girls growing up because
there are an awful lot of bad role models out there. I want to
show them that there is a great way to live your life and you
can achieve your dreams.”
And then after a round of interviews, signing numerous
autographs and having photos taken with their admirers, the
Irish quartet set out for home, and a well deserved break after
a month in Korea.
For Katie Taylor though that first stop would be her Gran's home
just down the road from hers in Bray. Another 'homecoming' -
another day - another year.
‘I want to make history; I want to be the greatest of all time,’
said the five-time world champion.