The warm up track at major global athletics championships has become a customary setting for Usain Bolt’s manager Richard Simms and Irish manager Patsy Mc Gonagle, both Donegal men and Finn Valley AC members.
And night after night these men are on deck in London’s East End, the Olympic Games the task on this occassion.
But in addition to that the Valley link with this Jamacian superstar was strengthened as on Thursday evening as the Big Man went straight to Darren O Dea and Kieran Carlin to celebrate his phenomenal 200m victory and the Valley men were of course beamed round the world.
Darren, whose sister Grainne works for Richard’s company Pace deals with the world’s elite athletes on a daily basis.
The Raphoe woman is a former athletics scholarship athlete at the university of Mobile, Alabama.
The Donegal and Finn Valley AC connection doesn’t stop there!
Enda Doherty from Lurgybrack is another who has worked with the Olympic champion as an employee of Pace.
The Donegal and Finn Valley AC connection is so strong indeed to the extent that Richard’s wife, German born Marian, has represented the Stranorlar club in national competition some years ago.
As Patsy finalises plans for the last days of the London games via the Irish athletes he surely is proud of the new generation of club members playing such a key role at the highest level and aware that the world is watching this Donegal story with the greatest athlete on the planet.
Just one more thing to settle…..we wonder if Mr Bolt can open the new blue track at Finn Valley AC?
We’re told Mr Simms is working on that….