Aidan Walsh pays tribute to best of Belfast as he collects Olympic medal
AIDAN Walsh paid tribute to the Belfast boxers who had come before him as he received his bronze medal for the men’s welterweight in Tokyo yesterday.
Walsh, who had to withdraw from the semi-final on Sunday due to injury, was thrilled to have made it to the podium at his debut and followed in the footsteps of other great names from the city in winning an Olympic medal.
“It’s unbelievable. I just feel extremely lucky, extremely blessed, extremely grateful to be even standing here," Walsh said
"It’s something that I always watched – Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Hugh Russell, Jim McCourt and all the guys coming away with medals from the Olympic Games. It’s amazing – from Belfast, Belfast being such a small place, and to be part of such a small group. I’m lost for words, it’s something that just means so much to me. It’s incredible."
Looking back to the decision to withdraw from Sunday’s semi-final he continued, “To be honest, we tried everything we could to get into the ring. We waited until the last minute to try and get in there, and Bernard [Dunne] just said it was physically impossible to get in there. I wanted to – obviously every competitor wants to go right to the end - but it just wasn’t to be. I’m standing here with a medal and I’m so grateful, so lucky.
“To every kid out there, just keep dreaming. Never ever stop dreaming. When I walked into the club at eight years of age, seeing the Olympic signs, I always dreamt of being an Olympian. Anyone listening out there, no matter what it is – not even boxing or sport – dream as big as you can, don’t be afraid and never give up. A few years ago, I was thinking of packing boxing in and I’m standing here now as an Olympic medallist, so never, ever give up, never stop dreaming. Picture yourself doing it over and over again until you get it and just enjoy every minute of it.”
From a kid becoming an Irish champion to a man becoming an Olympic medalist, the love stays the same forever brother ?? pic.twitter.com/tgGkbYB8A2— Michaela Walsh (@michaelaw57) August 3, 2021