Tom O'Riordan
Tom O'Riordan
Recorded: 1999
Length: 45mins

Tom O'Riordan, from the little village of Ardfert in North Kerry, is one of Kerry's, and indeed, Ireland's, greatest athletes. He achieved the highest honour when he represented Ireland in the 5000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics 1964. He went on to become a noted sports journalist with the Irish Independent, and here on Terrace Talk he recalls in detail his magnificent career.

In 1957, Tom O'Riordan was offered an athletic scholarship to Idaho State University U.S.A. Here, he went on to become a world-class athlete, winning both the National Inter-Collegiate Cross-Country Championship and also the 3,000 meter steeplechase title. He dominated many events in the white-hot competition of America, winning nine Conference Championships in the mile and two-mile distances.

He returned to Ireland in 1962, following two years under the great Hungarian coach Michel Igloi. There, he blazed a trail of victories, winning 12 Irish National Cross-Country Club Championships. He ran for Ireland on many occasions and just failed to win the British A.A.A. title as he was just beaten by the great Bruce Tullon.

Tom O'Riordan must rank with the greatest of Irish athletes - Ronnie Delaney, Eamon Coughlan, John Treacy and others, as one of Ireland's all-time greats.

Topics discussed in this interview
Tom tells us how he feels about getting into the Hall of Fame in his home town. He then talks to Weeshie about being "heartbroken" and homesick when he left for America to concentrate on his career. Tom talks about other Irish sports men who influenced him and of biggest achievements. Tom's teammates in the Olympics. Tom's career after the Olympics, his best athlete and sporting moment. Tom's pride in Kerry.

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