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Our bobsleigh hero C laire goes for gold on track

DUBLIN athlete Claire Bergin will be running for gold in London -- just two years after competing with the Irish bobsleigh team at the Winter Olympics.

Claire (27) and teammate Aoife Hoey were the first Irish female bobsleigh team to compete at Vancouver in 2011.

And now the Foxrock girl is bidding for further success in London.

Claire's mum Geraldine is thrilled to get the chance to support her sports-mad daughter again.







Dangerous

"This is our second time going to the Olympics," she told the Herald.

"To go to the Olympics with your child is so special, but to go twice is something spectacular.

"She's my hero -- and her dad and brother and sister's as well."

And Geraldine is also thankful that Claire will be involved in something less dangerous than the bobsleigh -- she is competing in the 400m relay.

"The two-man bobsleigh was very nerve- wracking," she admitted. "I'm not sure I want to see that again."

Geraldine and John Bergin's children -- Aisling (33) and John (31) and Claire -- are all hugely successful professionals.

Geraldine said that sport was always a major factor of Claire's life growing up.

"She has always had a huge interest in sport -- whether it was rugby, football whatever but athletics was her main focus," she told the Herald.

"She is really a high-achiever -- also in her professional life. She is training to be an accountant."

Geraldine said that Claire first showed athletic promise at school.

"She was very enthusiastic about getting to the sports day," she said.

"Then in school in Mucross she played hockey and basketball and joined up with Dundrum South Dublin Athletic Club where she really flourished. Things springboarded from there."







Recognised

The family will travel over to support Claire in London and Geraldine said that P&G's sponsorship in terms of accommodation and tickets had been a great help.

"As a mum, it is so nice to be recognised by P&G," she said. "Sometimes mums are forgotten about. And Claire's sister, Aisling, is expecting a baby, so she will be able to sit down in the stand and cheer on her sister."

Round one of Claire's medal attempt in the 4x400m relay starts on August 10.

clairemurphy@herald.ie