Hope you're having an amazing August. For me this month has been all about Katie Taylor. I've been on holiday with hubby and kiddies and it's been bliss. We managed to soak up some sunshine - which is utterly astonishing seeing as it's been the most abbismal summer in Ireland.
While we were away Katie Taylor boxed her way to a gold medal in the Olympics. In case you've been living under a rock, Katie is the women's light weight boxing champion of the world. She's from my home town of Bray and she's quite simply my hero.
I met her last year and she blew me away. She didn't hit me in the face or anything like that - instead she wowed me with her aura. I know that sounds seriously stick waver of me and perhaps a little creepy. But I'm trying to convey the magic this lady spreads in her wake. She's quiet, sweet, unassuming and incredibly humble. Above all she's a total lady.
We were staying in a lovely hotel while Katie was appearing in the Olympics. This meant we had to go to the bar to watch her fights. The establishment seemed to attract a most demure crowd the week we were there. So when I rolled into the bar and proceeded to yell like a fishwife at the television set I probably raised some perfectly manicured eyebrows in the process. I didn't give a toss.
I've always loved boxing. My grandfather was a boxer in his day and perhaps it's in my blood or maybe I have a violent streak that's longing to be unleashed. Either way I love this sport.
Katie takes it all to a new level. She's so skilled and wonderful to watch and more than that she's made history. It's directly due to Katie's success that women's boxing was allowed feature in the Olympic Games for the first time this year. That's phenominal! She had the support of the Irish in bucket loads in London. The sea of Irish flags in the stadium and the loud chanting was well deserved and electric. Her first match against Natasha Jones of UK was tough. But Katie sailed through winning 26 - 15. Two days later she performed her magic once more beating Mavzuna Chorieva of Tajikistan 17 - 9. The town of Bray and the entire country rejoiced! Prior to the final Sofya Ochigava of Russia and her people tried to cause a controversy and said nasty untrue things about our Katie. Instead of lowering herself to that level Katie spoke volumes by winning 10 - 8 and congratulating Sofya afterwards. That my friends is what you call style, class and a true star.
I was honoured to be invited to the homecoming party in Bray where I screamed and clapped and jumped up and down along with, oh about 20000,00 others! My kids and hubby all agreed it was a once in a life-time experience. The atmosphere was utterly electric, the chanting, singing and uproarious applause was so heart-felt and genuine. This girl has lifted the hearts of our nation and brought such immense pride to our town. As she stepped onto the stage amidst wild excitement the sun shone and the sea glistened - it was AWESOME!
After she came off stage a small number of people were allowed a quick meet and greet. I was like a child on Christmas morning as I was ushered towards Katie. My children met her for the first time and were delirious! She chatted to them and posed for pictures. I'm sure she was in a bubble and found the entire thing utterly surreal and amazing, but she was so friendly and warm and made each person feel special. She has made history and is such an incredible role model for women. She is living proof that dreams come true. That we can achieve world wide success if we try. In my mind, Katie has demonstrated that it's still possible to lift people's hearts, to make an entire nation proud and to show the world that there is in fact gold at the end of the rainbow if you reach out and grab it.
Lots of articles and wonderful pieces have been written about Katie over the past few months but I think the most gorgeous and wonderful thing of all is the song sung by the Thai Tims children. Dotey little children singing their hearts out and looking all delighted! Listen to how they pronounce the words too - I dare you to listen to it and not go - aahhhh, at the end! Here's the link:
I hope you're all in great spirits this August - the month that Katie Taylor proved to Ireland that she's our golden girl. Doesn't she inspire you to go out and fight for your dreams in life?
Sending you all love and light!