Jane Johnston made a greatly anticipated return to Northern Ireland last week after her Olympic success - and her friends were a top priority.
Jane went to Eden Social Education Centre in Portadown for her first day back, and received a hero’s welcome as she showcased her Olympic medals to her friends.
The Lurgan heroine took Los Angeles by storm when she scooped two medals in the first two days of the Special Olympics Summer World Games. Jane won her first medal on the very first day of the Games, which also happened to be the first medal won by Team Ireland. She finished third in the 100M Backstroke, kicking Team Ireland’s success off to a fantastic start. She then doubled her winnings on day two, earning a second bronze medal in the 100M Freestyle. Team Ireland were a roaring success in Los Angeles, bringing home a total of 82 medals and 41 placement ribbons.
Jane was rightly ecstatic after her races, saying, “I am very happy and proud of my performances.”
Jane swims with Ripples Special Olympics Sports Club, which is based in Craigavon, and will no doubt be eager to get back in the pool.
Team Ireland received a huge welcome home from hundred of family members, friends, supporters and fellow Special Olympics Ireland athletes when they arrived home to Dublin Airport last week. Suzanne Robinson, a coach at Ripples, described the atmosphere as “brilliant”.
As for Jane, she will be celebrated as Lurgan’s own true universal champion!