McKillop Taking it One Step at a Time

Micheal McKillop is one of Ireland’s greatest athletes and is hoping to go out on a high of a fourth Paralympics next year, pushed back from 2020.

In a call set up by his sponsors and Members of Sport for Business Allianz, he explained how the extra year was doable but that it would almost certainly bring down the curtain on his career.

“I was coming off an injury going into last year’s World Championships and missing that title is something I wanted to put right in 2021,” he told us.

“That has been thrown up in the air now but there is little organisers can do only put in place contingencies and then hope for a breakthrough in terms of a vaccine.”

McKillop has cerebral palsy which affects the right-hand side of his body, including his lungs and is conscious of the medical threat of Covid-19.

“If I was to pick up the virus, there is a higher risk for me of it being more serious but that is as much to do with being in training as anything else.”

“We just have to plan and do what we need to.”

McKillop is at home in Northern Ireland where there is less of a restriction on the amount of travel he can do than would be the case in the Republic.

It doesn’t affect him as he is in a rural environment but does highlight the potential risks of two different approaches to containing the virus north and south of the border.

Images of family celebrations across social media over the weekend, from sporting and other circles, were nice to see but also difficult given the tighter restrictions that apply in the Republic.

For McKillop though he advocates taking things one step at a time.

“It is difficult when you are knocked out of stride. I should have been training in Portugal now but you just do what you can to stay positive.”

“it is also important to keep in touch with those in the same position. In my disciplines, my competitors are also my friends and I’ve also kept in contact with Jason Smyth.”

“We have the same goals, the same ambitions and now the same challenges to stay focused.

McKillop has enough experience to see that what is happening around the world puts things into perspective. You only hope that Tokyo 2020 in 2021 will give him a great way to end this chapter of his life in a manner that he deserves.

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