Sunday 20 October 2019

Rio memories will linger on

Darren Browne with Panama sprinter and Olympic 200m finalist Alonso Edward
Darren Browne with Panama sprinter and Olympic 200m finalist Alonso Edward
Darren Browne with Billy Walsh at the Rio Olympics

Dean Goodison

The Rio Olympics may be fading from the memory at this stage, but they provided memorable experiences for all involved.

Wexford's Darren Browne was no exception, having attended to some of the world's top athletes.

The former county footballer and League of Ireland soccer player was in Brazil working as physio with the Zambian Federation, as well as his own athletes, in conjunction with sporting mega-brand Adidas.

'It was a brilliant experience overall,' he said. 'You see all these people on the telly when you're walking along the village, when you're sitting in the canteen.

'You could be sitting alongside Bolt, you could be sitting beside Asafa Powell or Gatlin, they're all there. Everyone is just mingling together.'

As in any environment, with thousands of top level athletes, some were not as well known as others, as Browne explained.

'People were saying to me look at that fella over there and sure I didn't have a clue who he was! I met my old mate Billy Walsh alright, and I met Eddie Bolger, the other two Wexford men, a little Wexford community over there.'

The highlight for Browne was easy, seeing his sprinter Alonso Edward line up, alongside Bolt, when the Jamaican made history in the 200 metre final.

'The circumstances before (were difficult), as he got a little tummy bug or something. That's why we think he didn't get a medal but watching him race against Bolt (was the highlight).

'I was just down on the corner near the hundred metre start line. He's a good friend of mine so it was great.'

Browne now wants to concentrate on his own clinic in Wexford but he also has several offers on the table to consider.

'At the moment I'm renovating my own place here, that's the focus,' he explained. 'I'm in talks with the Adidas crowd to do bits and pieces but Wexford is where I live, my home, so I want to build this up.

'I have been offered Texas, Zambia and Florida jobs but I don't know whether I'm going to take them or not. It's still in negotiations and we're still trying to talk them through, I have a family as well so that's a big consideration.'

Wexford People