Olive Loughnane

Olive Loughnane


Loughrea A.C Lifetime Member Olive Loughnane Retires from Competitive Athletics
Loughrea AC race walker Olive Loughnane has announced her retirement from competitive athletics at the age of 36. 
The Loughrea AC athlete represented Ireland on the international stage for over 12 years, with the highlight being the silver medal she won in the 20k walk at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. 
She competed in four Olympic Games – 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. In Beijing; she finished in seventh place in the 20k walk in a personal best of 1:27:45.
Loughnane also represented Ireland at five consecutive editions of the World Championships, winning a silver medal at the 2009 event. 
The 36-year-old is also the current Irish record holder in the 10k Walk in a time of 43:22 and won multiple National titles over 3k/5k/10k/20k distances.
Speaking today Loughnane said the decision to retire was always going to be tough.
“I can be happy with everything I have achieved and I have no regrets. I want to thank Athletics Ireland, the Irish Sports Council and the Olympic Council for all their help and support throughout my career.” 
Athletics Ireland CEO John Foley said Loughnane had made an outstanding contribution to Irish Athletics.
“Her achievements at national and international level have been of the highest quality. From her excellent achievement in Beijing to her incredible performance in Berlin, she has been one of Ireland’s best. On behalf of Athletics Ireland and myself I want to wish her all the best for the future.” 
How it all began
Olive ran cross-country as a juvenile. Well over 20 years ago there was a track and field competition held in Tullamore called the Midland League and the club would have a team taking part. It was held over 3 Wednesdays and covered a full range of track and field events. You were allocated points in each event and for that reason it was important to have someone competing in every event, if possible.
Mary Barrett asked Olive (who was then 17 years old) would she take part in the walking race. I am not sure but the distance was probably 3000m.
Olive agreed to take part and finished in 3rd place. Olive continued on with the race walking when she went to college in NUIG and, as they say, the rest is history!!

On behalf of Loughrea Athletics Club, we would like to thank Olive for many years of great races and wish Olive every success in the future.

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