€22k boost for Olympic hopeful Kieran
IRELAND'S newest Olympic team member has received a €22,000 cheque to fund his training for London 2012.
Gymnast Kieran Behan (22) was awarded the funds by Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, yesterday.
The athlete is competing in the London games despite being told by doctors on two occasions in the past that he would never walk again.
The gymnast spent 15 months in a wheelchair when he suffered brain damage in a training accident. "I wanted to prove the doctors wrong," Kieran said. "In hospital they were telling me I'd have to be realistic and come to terms with the fact that I'd never walk again."
Accompanying Kieran from his home in London were his parents Bernie and Phil.
"I've been living hand to mouth," admitted Kieran. "To get to this stage, everything has been self-funded. Now I can go to the gym and knuckle down and not have to worry if I have enough money to get to training or be trying to get lifts from people. I'm so grateful for this. Now I'm just looking forward to putting on the Irish tracksuit and doing Ireland proud."