Transplant athlete Robbie joins Olympic celebrations

Brave transplant athlete and world record holder Robbie Lyons, age 18, lined up with fellow Olympic torchbearers to honour Ireland’s Olympic heroes at Dublin’s Mansion House today.

Brave transplant athlete and world record holder Robbie Lyons, age 18, lined up with fellow Olympic torchbearers to honour Ireland’s Olympic heroes at Dublin’s Mansion House today.

Later this week the young Laois athlete will travel to Croatia to represent his country at the 7th European Transplant & Dialysis Games.

Having won the World junior title in the long jump event at the World Transplant Games in Sweden last year, Robbie, from The Swan, has now been promoted to the adult team and will be taking on the best of Europe in the forthcoming European Transplant & Dialysis Games which take place from 18th - 25th August.

“It’s a great honour for me to have been selected as a torchbearer and now to be part of the homecoming celebration with Ireland’s great Olympians,” said Robbie who received his life saving kidney transplant in 2009. “I am deeply proud to represent Transplant Team Ireland and all those touched by organ failure.”

Also attending the Mansion House event was Robbie’s mother Angie Lyons as well as Transplant Team Captain, Harry Ward and Transplant Team Manager, Mr. Colin White. Mr. White said, “we are delighted to be part of today’s celebrations and we are proud that our youngest member of the team will play his part in the proceeding. Both the Olympics and Transplant Games are significant and emotionally charged events. Both are united in the celebration of life through sport. In addition to this the European Transplant & Dialyiss Games promote the importance of organ donation. We hope to emulate the success of Katie Taylor and her fellow Irish Olympians at the forthcoming Games in Zagreb.”

As well as the Long Jump event in the 18-29 years age category Robbie will compete in events which will include 100m, 200m and 400m race as well as Ball Throw and 4 x 100m Relay race.

Robbie along with 25 other brave athletes, who have each fought great personal health battles, will travel to Zagreb, Croatia this Friday to represent their country at the 7th European Transplant & Dialysis Games.

The European Transplant & Dialysis Games will involve more than 300 athletes from 28 countries throughout Europe. Every athlete at the Games will either have already received a kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas or bone marrow transplant or be on dialysis.

Transplant Team Ireland comprises 17 men and nine women ranging in age from 18 to 74 and includes kidney, liver and pancreas transplant recipients as well as people on dialysis.

Athletes will compete in badminton, tennis, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, tennis, volleyball, mini-marathon and track and field events.

Joining Robbie at the games are fellow Laois athletes Alison Honner, Portlaoise and Niall McAuliffe, Abbeyleix;