Mike Keohane, a liver transplant recipient from Rosscarbery, Co Cork, he will be competing in the following sports in the 40-49 category:
- Track & Field – Discus
- Track & Field – Javelin
- Track & Field – 5km Powerwalk
- Track & Field – Shot Put
- Darts Triples
Mike Keohane lives in beautiful West Cork, 5 miles west of Clonakilty, near the lovely seaside town of Rosscarbery with his wife Dee. Mike joined Team Ireland in 2010 and since then has competed at national, European and world levels. Mike is currently the Irish Masters Indoor 3k Race Walk Champion in his age category 40-49 years for the 2nd year in a row. He has competed at European level in Dublin, Croatia, Poland, and Helsinki, winning medals at all these Championships. Mike specialises in the 5 Km Race Walk, the Shot Putt, Discus and Javelin but has also competed and won medals in Badminton and Darts.
He started competition with Team Ireland in 2010 in time for the European Championships which were held in Dublin that year. These were very special as they were the first Games since Mike’s Liver transplant in December 2007. Here he won medals in Shot Putt (Bronze) Badminton (Silver in Doubles & Singles) and Bronze in Darts. Team Ireland travelled to Croatia in 2012 and here Mike won 5 medals there (Gold in 5k Race walk, Gold in Discus, Bronze in Shot Putt, Bronze in Badminton and Bronze in Darts). In the European Championships held in Krakow, Poland in 2014, he won 3 medals (Silver Darts, Bronze in 5k race walk, Bronze in Discus). Team Ireland travelled to Helsinki, Finland in 2016 Championships and Mike won Gold (Discus), Silver (5k Race-walk) and Bronze (Badminton). In February 2017, both Mike and his fellow Corkman Charlie Ryan received the Lord Mayor’s Recognition Award for their sporting success in Finland.
Mike has also competed in the British Transplant Games with the Dublin Adults team. These were held in Sheffield in 2013 and here Mike won Gold in the Discus, Silver in the 5k Race-walk, Bronze in Shot Putt. The British Transplant Games were on in Bolton in 2014 and this year Mike took Gold in the 5k Race-walk, Bronze in Discus and Shot Putt. In the 2015 UK Championships in Newcastle, he won Gold (5k Race-walk), Silver (Discus) and Silver (Shot Putt). In 2016, at the UK Games in Liverpool, he retained his 5k Race-walk title for the 3rd year in a row, and won another Gold in the Discus and a Silver medal in the Shot Putt. Mike has also competed in the Javelin and Archery.
The World Transplant Championships take place in Malaga this year and Mike hopes to win his first World Medal. He trains 5 days a week, race-walking, circuit training and in his throwing events. Mike continues to honour his donor each and every day of his new life. His sporting success is a huge personal achievement whilst at the same time it showcases the success of organ donation and transplantation whilst offering inspiration to those who are newly transplanted or newly diagnosed with organ failure.
Both Mike and Dee agree that being part of Team Ireland has been a life-enhancing experience – the sense of family and goodwill in the team is inspirational and they have made lifelong friends. Team Manager Colin White and Team Captain Harry Ward coordinate the Games experience so capably and along with IKA CEO Mark Murphy, PR guru Sarah May and team Doctor Claire Kennedy, they all make Team Ireland the strong unit that it is today.
Like all of his colleagues in Team Ireland, Mike Keohane’s story is an inspirational one – of facing adversity head on and valuing the most precious gift of all – life.