Local girl Lorraine Hession (27) from Cahernahoon, will represent Ireland in the Special Olympics in Los Angeles this summer. Lorraine is the youngest of five and lives at her home with her Mum and Dad. Lorraine began swimming at three years of age while attending preschool in Tuam. Little did Lorraine know at the time that this was the first step towards becoming the Olympic Athlete she is today. “She took to water, she loves it”, said her brother Joe Hession.
Lorraine currently trains with Club South Galway in Kilcornan every Wednesday night. Since qualifying for the Special Olympics she also goes to Dublin every three weeks to train. Tranquility Leisure (Raheen Woods) kindly gave Lorraine free membership for the year to train in the pool. It is quite a busy schedule but “She loves it”, Joe says. Along with a healthy diet, Lorraine is required to keep up a good level of fitness outside of the pool, she enjoys walking. Joe told us that Lorraine likes to adhere strictly to anything she is asked to do. “She’d do it to the letter of the law” Joe said.
When Lorraine is not training she enjoys listening to music. Two of her favourite bands include One Direction and Nathan Carter. Lorraine is no stranger to Turloughmore Hurling and enjoys going to matches.
The Special Olympics is on in Los Angeles from the 25th July–2nd August. Lorraine will compete in three events: 100m freestyle; 50m Backstroke and the Team Ireland Relay. Lorraine is the finisher in the relay and they “use her because of her speed” says Joe. The times and dates for these events are not yet available. Once these events are known John Mulligan of Galway Bay FM will relate the information to the public.
A fundraiser was held in Turloughmore Social Centre recently for Lorraine and Special Olympics. Lorraine’s brother Joe would like to say “Thank you to everyone for their contribution to the night.” The family really appreciate that the people in the area have gotten behind Lorraine and they really value your support.
Finally a big congratulations to Lorraine on her incredible achievements to date and we wish you the very best of luck in Los Angeles!
People can still make a donation by contacting Special Olympics or visiting SpecialOlympics.ie.