Double Olympian Danny McDaid is to get the Freedom of Donegal next week.
The Glenswilly man, who competed in the Olympic Games in 1972 and 1976, will be presented with the award on Monday evening next in the County House in Lifford, Donegal County Council have confirmed.
McDaid was a late-comer to athletics, aged in his 20s when he took up an invite from Paddy Marley to join the Cranford Athletic Club.
A retired postman, Danny is a World Cross Country silver medalist and is a four-time National Marathon Champion.
His international career began in 1969 and lasted until 1981.
In that 12-year period, spanning three decades, Danny ran 9 World Cross Country Championships, two European Marathons and two Olympic Games – 1972 in Munich and 1976 in Montreal. He was Donegal’s last Olympian before Chloe Magee and Philip Deignan competed at Beijing in 2008.
He ran Munich in 2 hours 22 minutes, but was hampered by injury in the lead-up to Montreal. Before travelling to Canada, he ran 2:13:06 in March of ’76, a time that would have earned him a top six place in the Olympics.
Once he recovered, he was back to his best in double-quick time, coming eighth in the New York marathon later that year and in 1979 he helped Ireland to a silver medal at the World Cross Country Championship in Limerick
Born in 1941, the fourth child of Pat and Maggie McDaid of Fahykeen, Glenswilly, Danny became National Marathon Champion on four occasions.
The first was in 1970 at Ballinamore, County Leitrim and his best marathon time came nine years later in Limerick when a time of 2:13:06 ranked him 14th in the world.
These are perhaps eclipsed by the victory on home soil in 1983, when he crossed the finish line at the Community Centre on the Pearse Road, some three minutes ahead of his nearest challenger.Tags: