From a Lifeguard to an Olympic Swimmer-Here’s How Ireland’s Ellen Walshe Has Been Living the Dream

Published 07/17/2021, 12:39 PM EDT
Torches are pictured during a lighting ceremony after the torch relay on a public road was cancelled due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay celebration in Tokyo, Japan, July 9, 2021. REUTERS/Naoki Ogura

Nations from all over the world have finalized their final roster heading to Japan, where the Tokyo Olympics 2020 starts. As usual, the US and Australia are favorites to dominate the swimming events. Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Ariarne Titmus are some superstars heading to Tokyo.


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However, a talented swimmer has come through the ranks in Ireland. 19-year-old Ellen Walshe qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by setting a good time in the qualifiers. She expressed her happiness about the decision, which came out of the blue.

The talented swimmer clocked a good time, which keeps her Olympic hopes alive.


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Young Irish swimmer’s dreams come true for Olympics

In other words, Walshe could not hide her excitement of getting a chance to represent Ireland in the swimming competitions in Tokyo.

“I’m delighted. Two weeks ago I was sitting on a lifeguard chair, lifeguarding and it’s just amazing how your life can change in a split second.

“I only officially found out on Tuesday [July 6] and the announcement went to the media on Wednesday so it’s been a rollercoaster the last couple of weeks.

“I haven’t a lot of experience as a senior. I’ve only been to Worlds and Europeans once, so only two major senior competitions. This is practically my third one and it’s the biggest one that you can get to.

“I’m 19 now and I’m delighted with this. I’m just going out for the experience and to have fun and see where it goes,” said Walshe.

Being a lifeguard two weeks back and now setting up a time for qualification for the Olympics, Walshe is living her dream. The young Irish sensation seems to be happy with her life-changing experiences in recent weeks.


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17 days ago

Ellen Walshe sets a good time for Tokyo

During Swim Ireland’s Performance Meet, Walshe competed in the 200-meter individual medley and shocked Irish fans in her country. She clocked a time of 2:12.02 which was a national record as well.

As the time came below FINA A’s standard for qualification, Swim Ireland is considering her legitimate case while following their policy to take Walshe to the Olympics. They spoke about the swimmer deserving a chance to get to Tokyo.

Walshe became one of six swimmers to achieve the time joining Danielle Hill, Daniel Wiffen, Darragh Greene, Mona McSharry, and Shane Ryan. She is on cloud nine and feels honored to have a chance to represent Ireland in Tokyo.

This year’s Tokyo Olympics has seen a trend of young athletes coming to the forefront to represent their countries. Although there are many household names, it provides a unique balance, with both experience and youthful exuberance coming into play. To sum up, the Tokyo Olympics is shaping into an exciting event.


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Hence, this narrative proves why that the Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event in the world.

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Jacob Gijy

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Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.