Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon
In 1972, American long-distance runner Frank Shorter lit up the sporting landscape when he claimed the gold medal in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Munich. It had a major impact, with most commentators, pundits and historians in retrospect believing this was the moment the running boom “ignited” in the United States.
Shorter was 24-years-old back then, a 5ft 10” product of Middletown, New York – where today a street is named after him – who first sprang to fame when winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association six-mile run title during his senior year at the famous Yale University in 1969.
He subsequently claimed his first US national titles in the three and six-mile disciplines in 1970 and was the 10,000 metres United States champion in 1971, 1974, 1975 and 1977.
“Ignited” the American running boom? Shorter damn well set it on fire!
The crowning glory, of course, was the Olympic Games marathon victory in 1972 in Munich, the city of his birth – his father was stationed there with the US Army – and although, surprisingly, his greatest triumph is the last thing we get around to talking about, it would be remiss not to embrace this as the reference point here.
Shorter recounts his memories of that glorious day.
“As an athlete, you train and you try to be ready and peak at the right time. When I crossed the finish line in Munich, I got it right. The training I did and how I prepared was right. I get goose bumps when I think about it,” he smiles.
He is back there now, in that moment, and he is – ignited. “Ask John Treacy the day he had in the Olympics [silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games]. When you realise you done it right and you get out there and early on in the race you can tell. You can tell that is going to be a good day. I had that feeling when I took off at nine miles, 15 kilometres.
“I ran about 4.33 for the next mile and nobody went with me and the thought that was in my mind when I turned around and saw they hadn’t gone with me was I think they are making a big mistake. Because I wasn’t just surging, I was going away. So, when I crossed the finish line, it was, yeah, I did the right thing.”
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.
€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.