Game on: Meet the athletes hoping to represent Ireland in the Paralympics
When he was in school, Patrick Flanagan’s alarm used to go off at 5.30am when his mum would drive him to his swim sessions at Longford Swimming Club. He’d swim for two hours and be on the school bus for 8.15 am. Swimming was not something that ran in the family and Patrick was introduced to it at the age of eight by two boys in his class. He never looked back and now the 23-year-old UCD economics and finance student is hoping to compete in a final at this year’s Paralympics in Tokyo.
“From my parents’ point of view, they weren’t bothered if I was good or not. They were keen for me to get involved and enjoy it,” Patrick says.
A life-long wheelchair user, Patrick says he’s never let his disability stop him from doing what he wanted to do, something that was instilled in him at an early age by his parents Siobhan and Kevin.
“I always had this attitude of ‘I’ll figure out a way to make it work’,” he says of dealing with things in life. “Many times I had my friends carry me up stairs. My mum used to say, ‘If you’re not doing something, it’s because you’re not trying hard enough’. It was basically no excuses,” he says.
Read the full article printed in the Irish Independent on April 12, 2021 here.