Orla Barry has announced her retirement from Paralympic sport at the age of 30.
The Paralympic legend claimed bronze in London 2012 and silver at Rio 2016, having represented Ireland at three different Paralympic Games in the F57 Discus.
Barry has endured a glittering career, winning a total of 9 major championship medals over a 13-year career as a Para athlete.
The double Paralympic medallist calls time on her career as a reigning European Champion, as she won gold at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin.
Barry first represented Ireland at the Paralympic Games in 2008, where she competed at the Beijing Games as an 18-year-old, finishing fifth.
At the next Paralympic Games in London 2012, she clinched her first Paralympic medal winning bronze. Four years later at Rio, Barry went one step further as she secured silver with a throw of 30.06m.
Barry is a former world record holder, and holds claim to two silver World Para Athletics Championship medals. To add to this Barry holds one European Championship silver medal and two the European Championship gold medals, having bagged these in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
Today I announce my retirement from Paralympic sport. It has been an incredible journey & has given me so many memories that I will cherish forever. Now is the right time to turn the page and move on to an exciting new chapter. Thanks to everyone that has helped me along the way pic.twitter.com/rgrxPyf1SQ— Orla Barry (@orlabarryxxx) January 13, 2020
Speaking about her retirement Orla Barry said “I have had a wonderful career in Paralympic Sport. I achieved everything that I set out to achieve when I first started competing as a 14 year old girl. I have some amazing memories that I will cherish forever and I have worked with brilliant coaches, competed alongside some incredible athletes and made some lifelong friends.”
“I am entering into a new period in my life as I am building a new house, planning my wedding next year and embarking on a new career. I feel that now is the right time to step away from the sport while I am still at the top and knowing that I would struggle to give the commitment and single minded focus to reach the standards that I have always set for myself and that the sport deserves”
“I would like to thank my coach of 17 years, Pat Furlong, my fellow Irish Paralympic team mates, the staff and support staff at Paralympics Ireland and Sport Ireland for supporting me throughout my career. I would especially like to thank my family who have been a huge part of my journey and without whom I would not have enjoyed the great success that I achieved.”
Paralympics Ireland President, John Fulham said ‘Orla Barry has been a great athlete and a wonderful ambassador for her sport and for her country. She has embodied what it is to be a high performance Para Athlete throughout her brilliant career and I would like to thank her for the dedication that she has shown to her sport. I would like to wish Orla all the very best in the future and I hope that, in the future, she will be able to pass on some of her knowledge to the next generation of Irish Para Athletes that she has inspired.”
Sport Ireland Director of High Performance, Paul McDermott said ‘“Orla Barry has had an outstanding career winning multiple medals and breaking records at the very highest levels of her sport. Sport Ireland is proud to have been associated with her throughout her distinguished career and wants to wish her the very best in the future as she retires from competitive sport. Orla, her family and coaches can reflect on a remarkably successful career with the ultimate accolade of medals at the Paralympic Games. Sport Ireland will now work closely with Orla and Paralympics Ireland to ensure she enjoys a smooth transition away from the High Performance programme.”