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OCI chief Stephen Martin's thoughts turn to Rio 2016

Updated: Thursday, 20 Dec 2012 20:36 | Comments

Stephen Martin (l) pictured with RTÉ blogger and London 2012 badminton competitor Scott Evans
Stephen Martin (l) pictured with RTÉ blogger and London 2012 badminton competitor Scott Evans

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Many positive memories emerged from London 2012, with Ireland bringing home five medals.

The task will be to better that in four years and the preparatory work has already begun as Chief Executive of the Olympic Council of Ireland Stephen Martin outlined to RTÉ's Tadhg Peavoy.  

“Since we got back from London, our attention has switched to Rio and our planning has already begun. We’ve already been in contact with the 2016 organising committee," Martin revealed.

“I know a number of sports already in their performance planning for the next four years." - Stephen Martin

"However, there are a number of other competitions that we are focused on as well, namely the European Youth Olympic Games in 2013 & 2015 and the World Youth Olympics and Winter Games of 2014.

"Added to that is the recently approved European Games which are set to start in 2015. So all in all, the schedule is a busy one and it’s crucial that the preparatory work starts early."

Training facilities

Satisfaction was the phrase most used to describe the training facilities in London and it’s something Martin wants to replicate in Rio.

Martin added: “We were very pleased with the training camps that we provided in London. Over the last month or so, meetings have taken place with the various performance directors and they have asked us to try and maintain that high standard.

"Our plan is to carry out a recce in Rio in early 2013 to tie down the various options we have in sourcing the best facilities."

Improving our medal haul

And Martin believes that the Olympic Council of Ireland must ensure that the Irish team have the best support network in the build-up to the Games.

He explained: "Success comes with dedication and hard work and our role is to assist the competitors in the best possible way. Normally we follow a pre-determined script no matter where the Games are.

"We try to develop a relationship with the organising committee and talk regularly with the sports bodies here and look at their operational plans and management leading up to and during the Games.

"I have already mentioned training camps, but what sports are doing in terms of their movement from Ireland to Rio before competition begins is also of prime importance.

“However, it’s also important that they get an opportunity to get involved in test events – that was particularly good in London and most sports got a chance to do that and it will be a priority again for Rio.

"We normally take performance directors and head coaches out on a recce just to get a feel for the place.

“I know a number of sports already in their performance planning for the next four years are including within their budgets some training and competitive opportunities that will familiarise them with what Rio has to offer. This is a new development and it’s very welcome.”

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