BY Ian Dunn | August 11 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

3-CHRIS-O'HARE

Run, Chris, Run—Catholic Scot to compete in Olympics

Scottish Catholic athlete Chris O’Hare will be going for gold in Rio this week, and his home parish of St Isidore’s in Biggar will be cheering him every step of the way.

The 25-year-old from West Linton will be running in the 1500m at the Olympics on Tuesday. St Isidore’s parish priest Fr Michael Maher said parishioners had ‘followed his every victory—and sadly not victories’ and ‘would be ‘thinking of him over in Rio’.

The Scot currently lives in the United States, after attending the University of Tulsa, and previously said: “My faith is a huge part of my life. I was brought up in the Catholic Church—although more often than not, we couldn’t go on Sundays because I was racing. When I got to university in Tulsa, I had more time and it was important for me to rekindle my faith.”

His father Terry O’Hare said he, his wife and another of their four children were flying out to Rio on Sunday to support Chris in Brazil. “We’re very excited,” he said. “He’s had a knee injury, which has held him back the past few weeks, which is an anxiety, but he’s being positive, he’s back running and sharpening up now.”

He said that Chris’ ‘Faith is very important to him,’ and that increased after he went to America. “The priest at Tulsa University was a big influence on him and actually married Chris and his wife Meredith at Holy Name Cathedral there last year,” Terry said. “ She’s actually pregnant now, in the third trimester, so that’s been hard for him as he’s had to be away a lot.” Still the whole family has been buoyed by the support from back home.

“It’s been really nice, lots of positive comments on Facebook,” he said. “And my mum, she’s 88 and hugely excited about it. She gets a lot of support from the parishioners at Our Lady and St Ninian’s in Bannockburn and I know they’ll all be looking out for Chris too.”

“I’m really proud of him,” the father of four said. “I’m really proud of all of them.”

 

—This story ran in full in the August 12 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

PIC: British Athletics/Getty Images

 

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