An Olympic Journey Begins

Since then the plane has touched down in Beijing,Sydney,Osaka,Berlin ,Moscow ,Daegu,Izmir,Barcelona,Gothenborg ,Helsinki  to name but just a few locations in the interim .Maybe  best described as the beginning of the end of a journey really . The 4 year olympic cycle coming to an end.

  Thoughts immediately turn to London 1948 the last time the Olympics were held in London to his father then Lt. Patsy Mc Gonagle who all those years ago was assembling with his soccer team squad to catch the boat and ultimately the train to post war London one of 2 Donegal Olympians on that team the first ever from the area the other Frank Mc Laughlin a Carndonagh man a medical student at U C D whom they met at a train station along the way in England interesting that these two men grew up just miles from each other as Patsy was a Ballyliffin man then stationed in the Curragh and playing with Bohemians . Different times but surely exciting and the link with father and son being olympians is noteworthy if not unique . Patsy senior now deceased had played soccer and won honours with Drumcondra,Shelbourne,Bohemians and ultimately Derry City in addition to playing inter league for both the North and the South . 
  The Finn Valley man sets off for London and will settle in with the team at St Marys University College, Twickenham for a number of days before moving to East London and the village that will become home  for the competition period as athletes come in from the camp at intermittent intervals based on their competition programme . St Marys again has a link as it was here that he studied physical education ,graduated and headed back to a brand new job in Glenties before returning for a further study year and another new challenge the then new Regional College which was to evolve to LYIT as we now know it. 
  The athletics programme begins August 3rd while no doubt the team will travel from their training base to join in the opening ceremony Friday next before returning to Twickenham . 
  The added bonus for him on this Games experience is that 3 Donegal athletes are on the athletics team ,Brendan Boyce,Caitriona Jennings and Tori Pena with Strabane man Stephen Maguire on the coaching staff plus the large number of local people travelling to take advantage of a 'Home Games '.
 Patsy is encouraged by the many goodwill messages from the immediate community and will do occassional personal reports during his busy sojourn in charge of Irelands elite at the greatest sports festival on earth . Let the Games begin !


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