Paralympics hero Dunlevy: Carrying Ireland's flag at the closing ceremony was the icing on the cake

Crawley-born tandem cyclist Katie-George Dunlevy said carrying the flag of the Republic of Ireland at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics was ‘a huge pinch yourself moment’.

Saturday, 9th October 2021, 11:10 am
Updated Saturday, 9th October 2021, 11:12 am
Silver medallists Katie-George Dunlevy (right) and pilot Eve McCrystal pose during the women’s B 3,000m individual pursuit medal ceremony. Picture by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

Dunlevy, alongside pilot Eve McCrystal, proudly carried the Irish tricolour at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday, September 5 after they won two golds and a silver in Japan.

The pair claimed silver in the B 3,000m individual pursuit on Saturday, August 28 before taking gold in the women’s B time trial just three days later.

Dunlevy and McCrystal added their second gold of the Games in the women’s B road race on Friday, September 3.

The duo were responsible for three of the seven Paralympic medals won by the Republic of Ireland in Japan.

Dunlevy said: “It still blows my mind! It was huge a privilege and an honour, but it was a huge pinch yourself moment.

“You see it on TV and over the years at the opening and closing ceremonies, but to actually be chosen after winning those medals for your country was unbelievable.

“It really was the icing on the cake for us.”

After her triumphs in Tokyo, Dunlevy admitted she had not even begun to start thinking about retaining her Paralympic titles in Paris in three years time.

The Paralympic hero wanted to ‘enjoy the moment’ before returning to competitive action in 2022.

The double gold medallist said: “We haven’t had that discussion [about competing in the 2024 Paralympics] and we’re just enjoying the moment now.

“Paris is a way away and we’ve got more competitions coming up. I’m taking it a year at a time.

“It was a long journey to get here and to achieve this. I don’t really want to be thinking about Paris, not now anyway.

“I’ll have the Track Worlds at the beginning of next year, around March time. We’ll have to get ready for those.

“It’s only been a few weeks since my last race. I’m just enjoying the moment and sharing it with everyone.”

Dunlevy also wanted to thank her family for their continued support.

She said: “They’ve supported me over the years. I wouldn’t have got where I was without them. I just want to say a huge thanks to them.”