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Sunday 11 December 2016

Watch: Team Ireland jets out to LA seeking Olympic gold glory

Jetting off to Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games L.A. at Dublin Airport was Anthony Clarke from Bray, Coach Graham Hillick from Bray, Francis Bilardi from Tallaght with LA haircut, Sean Mc Donald from Wicklow, Matthew Troy from Swords and David Carrick from Lucan.
Jetting off to Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games L.A. at Dublin Airport was Anthony Clarke from Bray, Coach Graham Hillick from Bray, Francis Bilardi from Tallaght with LA haircut, Sean Mc Donald from Wicklow, Matthew Troy from Swords and David Carrick from Lucan.
REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Special Olympics Team Ireland Departure to World Summer Games Los Angeles, Dublin Airport 21/7/2015 88 Irish athletes jetted to Los Angeles today (Tuesday) with dreams of a big performance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. There was great excitement at Dublin Airport as the athletes and their coaches boarded their Aer Lingus flight with the team confident of success. The athletes were welcomed to the airport by Aer Lingus who are the official airline for Team Ireland. Pictured Paul Keane from Wexford Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Dan Sheridan
REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Special Olympics Team Ireland Departure to World Summer Games Los Angeles, Dublin Airport 21/7/2015 88 Irish athletes jetted to Los Angeles today (Tuesday) with dreams of a big performance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. There was great excitement at Dublin Airport as the athletes and their coaches boarded their Aer Lingus flight with the team confident of success. The athletes were welcomed to the airport by Aer Lingus who are the official airline for Team Ireland. Pictured (L-R) Captain Padraic Maye, Carole Catling from Newtownabbey and Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus CEO Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Dan Sheridan
REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Special Olympics Team Ireland Departure to World Summer Games Los Angeles, Dublin Airport 21/7/2015 88 Irish athletes jetted to Los Angeles today (Tuesday) with dreams of a big performance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. There was great excitement at Dublin Airport as the athletes and their coaches boarded their Aer Lingus flight with the team confident of success. The athletes were welcomed to the airport by Aer Lingus who are the official airline for Team Ireland. Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Billy Stickland
REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Special Olympics Team Ireland Departure to World Summer Games Los Angeles, Dublin Airport 21/7/2015 88 Irish athletes jetted to Los Angeles today (Tuesday) with dreams of a big performance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. There was great excitement at Dublin Airport as the athletes and their coaches boarded their Aer Lingus flight with the team confident of success. The athletes were welcomed to the airport by Aer Lingus who are the official airline for Team Ireland. Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Billy Stickland
REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Special Olympics Team Ireland Departure to World Summer Games Los Angeles, Dublin Airport 21/7/2015 88 Irish athletes jetted to Los Angeles today (Tuesday) with dreams of a big performance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. There was great excitement at Dublin Airport as the athletes and their coaches boarded their Aer Lingus flight with the team confident of success. The athletes were welcomed to the airport by Aer Lingus who are the official airline for Team Ireland. Pictured front (L-R) Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus CEO and Matt English, Special Olympics Ireland CEO with (L-R) Aer Lingus Cabin Crew Members, Claire Teehan, Lisa Jane Dorman and Ross Kennedy Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Billy Stickland
REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Special Olympics Team Ireland Departure to World Summer Games Los Angeles, Dublin Airport 21/7/2015 88 Irish athletes jetted to Los Angeles today (Tuesday) with dreams of a big performance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. There was great excitement at Dublin Airport as the athletes and their coaches boarded their Aer Lingus flight with the team confident of success. The athletes were welcomed to the airport by Aer Lingus who are the official airline for Team Ireland. Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Billy Stickland
REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** Special Olympics Team Ireland Departure to World Summer Games Los Angeles, Dublin Airport 21/7/2015 88 Irish athletes jetted to Los Angeles today (Tuesday) with dreams of a big performance at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. There was great excitement at Dublin Airport as the athletes and their coaches boarded their Aer Lingus flight with the team confident of success. The athletes were welcomed to the airport by Aer Lingus who are the official airline for Team Ireland. Pictured (L-R) Pictured (L-R) Captain Padraic Maye, Ann Hoey from Drogheda, Ian Staunton from Galway and Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus CEO Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Jetting off to Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games L.A. at Dublin Airport was Angela Foley, Rita Quirke and Roisin Henry. Pic Steve Humphreys 21st July 2015.
Jetting off to Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games L.A. at Dublin Airport. Pic Steve Humphreys 21st July 2015.
Jetting off to Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games L.A. at Dublin Airport was Aer Lingus Captain Padraic Maye, Ian Staunton from Galway and Aer Lingus CEO Stephen kavanagh. Pic Steve Humphreys 21st July 2015.
Jetting off to Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games L.A. at Dublin Airport was Nicola Higgins from Dublin and Ian Staunton from Galway. Pic Steve Humphreys 21st July 2015.

AS TEAM Ireland assembled in Dublin Airport to jet off to the Special Olympics in the US, two Dublin footballers are travelling with one goal - "medals around our necks".

Thomas Caufield (23) and Mark Duffy (30) will take to the football pitch in LA and are aiming for gold.

"I train twice a day so I can't wait to head out there now. Our first match is on Saturday, we don't know who we're against yet but we hope to come back with medals around our necks," said Ballyfermot man Caufield, who plays right back or centre defensive midfield.

Duffy, from Tallaght is, a previous medalist himself, is equally ambitious.

"It's my second world games. In 2007, we brought home gold and, hopefully, we can do it again. I can't wait," he told the Herald as they prepared to depart from Terminal 2 this morning.

There were jubilant scenes there as the 88 athletes, 40 coaches and more than 450 family members and volunteers prepared to fly out.

Aer Lingus sponsor Team Ireland and are flying them to and from the US for free.

The team Ireland will be staying in the city of Downey.

The opening ceremony will take place on Saturday in the LA Coliseum where 7,000 athletes will gather. Irish Olympian John Treacy, Claudine Keane and actor Colin Farrell will lead Team Ireland out. Stevie Wonder and Michelle Obama will also make appearances.

Matt English, CEO of Special Olympics Ireland, spoke of how the games are particularly important to Irish people.

"The first time the games moved out of the US was to Ireland in 2003... It's hard to beat the Irish version because we did it so well... Team Ireland is well prepared and we would have the strongest programme in the world, I would say."

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