Praise flocks in for Personality of the Olympics Katie Taylor
Usain Bolt may be the fastest man on the planet and Michael Phelps the most decorated Olympian of all time but Katie Taylor is fast becoming the star personality of the 2012 Olympics.
The Bray woman claimed lightweight gold this afternoon following an epic win over Russian southpaw Sofya Ochigava.
The social network site Twitter lit up with tributes following the historic 10-8 victory.
Former WBA World champ Barry McGuigan, a former Irish Olympian, tweeted: “Katie Taylor. Legend.”
Comedian Dara O’ Brien: “Oh Lord, that was incredible.”
Keith Duffy: “Well done Katie Taylor. Thank the Lord for you.”
Barack Obama’s Irish cousin Henry Healy: “What a fight! What a woman! What a legend! What a day for Ireland! Thank you Katie Taylor.”
TV3 star Sinead Desmond: “My dad and myself in tears here watching. Atmosphere in Bray is unreal! So thrilled for you Katie.”
George Hook: “She is talented, brave and proud of her beliefs.”
Ireland keeper Shay Given.: “Buzzing. Katie Taylor a true Irish hero. Congrats Katie. Olympic Champion. Gold medal coming home.”
Novelist Belinda McKeon: “That was beautiful. Thank you Katie.”
Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll: “Woooooohoooo! So delighted for Katie. Her dream achieved. Very proud.”
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg: “Congratulations to Katie Taylor on her hard fought gold. Crowd packed with Irish fans. Unbelievable atmosphere.”
Labour (UK) politician John Prescott: “Maith thu Katie Taylor. From one amateur boxer to another you were brilliant.”
Andy Lee, who was at ringside, said: “Words fail to describe the atmosphere at the fight. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. There was so much pride and emotion. It was amazing to be there.”
Lee, Ireland’s only boxer at the 2004 Olympics, also called (tongue in cheek) for a National Katie Taylor Day.
Meanwhile, who said that the number 13 is unlucky as Taylor claimed gold on the 13th day of the 30th Olympiad.
The newly crowned Olympic champion, speaking after the medal ceremony, said:
“I dreamt of this moment so many times before. I just can’t believe it. Thank you Jesus for such a great victory today. I was the most nervous I’ve been before a fight. I had a knot in my stomach all day.
“Sofya is a fantastic boxer. Thanks to Sofya for a fantastic fight.”
Taylor added that there was no one pressing the panic button in her corner when she went a point down.
“The last thing you do is panic. It’s only one point, one punch. The last round was very close. She caught me with a few shots and I caught her with a few shots as well.
“It was such a close contest. I thought I landed the cleaner punches. Thank God for such a great victory.”