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Good as gold Boxer Aidan Walsh is still jumping for joy at Olympic bronze medal win

After the drama of winning a bronze medal for Team Ireland in Tokyo the down-to-earth boxer is happy to kick back with a can of Coke in his caravan in Carnlough

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Boxer Aidan Walsh

Boxer Aidan Walsh

Boxer Aidan Walsh

Olympic bronze medal winner Aidan Walsh happens to like the simple things in life.

After the drama of winning a bronze medal for Team Ireland in Tokyo the down-to-earth boxer is happy to kick back with a can of Coke in his caravan in Carnlough.

Mind you, putting his feet up is his only option after fracturing his foot while celebrating his spectacular win at the Olympic Games last week.

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Aidan celebrates his bronze medal win

Aidan celebrates his bronze medal win

Aidan celebrates his bronze medal win

 

"You know I think me fracturing my foot as well as my win will go down in history as well but, sure things happen. I don't know how though. I think I jumped higher than I physically could and that's what happened.

"It's crazy, I never had an injury before and considering all the training I do, the bags, the weights and that's how I get injured, it's just one of those ones, though I can laugh about it now," Aidan told Sunday World.

"The way I look at it is I got a medal, the positive and that is such a great feeling,".

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 AIdan with girlfriend Courtney

AIdan with girlfriend Courtney

AIdan with girlfriend Courtney

 

While most people across the land raised a glass to Walsh and his team mates, including gold medal winner Kelly Harrinton, he is happy to enjoy the quiet life outside the ring.

"My life is pretty simple outside boxing. I am at my happiest when I am not training, doing the simple things in life. I'm not a party boy. Hand me a can of Coke, let me do some fishing and I'm happy. Get a Chinese and spend time with my girlfriend and family, watch a film and that's me," he says.

"I have to take things easy because of the injury, but I was planning to anyway. I just won't be running up the mountains, which I used to to do when I am here. I am taking all the professional advice, rehabilitation but I will be back, there is no worry about that,".

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Aidan is greeted on his return.

Aidan is greeted on his return.

Aidan is greeted on his return.

 

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Walsh, who alongside his sister Michaela represented their country at the Olympic Games, is glad to be home after earning a well-deserved break.

Spending quality time with his long- suffering girlfriend of six years, Courtney McFarlane, is a priority.

"Being home is amazing, obviously. I was away for six weeks - three weeks in the Olympic Village and I was training like mad before - so to get back to normality, all the home comforts is just amazing, you really appreciate it all.

"To see my family and to see my girlfriend, Courtney, is unbelievable. The fact I can do all these things for a few weeks is great. Get up and not have to worry about a thing. I'm on holiday now. The only thing I worry about now is if my medal is still in my pocket."

The boxer can't believe the response he has had from the public and his community, admittedly embarrassed by the praise heaped upon him.

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Proud mum Martine with Aidan and Michaela.

Proud mum Martine with Aidan and Michaela.

Proud mum Martine with Aidan and Michaela.

 

"The welcome at Dublin Airport, the street celebrations, the street party when I came home. It was just amazing. All the neighbours were out and there were banners, they were all clapping and the kids were going nuts. It's not something I have ever experienced before. It felt brilliant, though a bit strange.

"Even after the Commonwealth Games it wasn't on that scale and I wasn't prepared or expecting that. The neighbours were coming up and saying in all their years they never expected to be living next door to an Olympian medal winner. It was truly overwhelming to drive into the street."

It wasn't just him they were applauding but his sister, too, who lost out on bringing a medal home this time.

"She did great too, obviously she would have loved to get a medal but to see me get one brought her back. Seeing me win, she said, was amazing but for me I am extra lucky, not only did I become an Olympian but my sister becoming one, too. The medal was just a bonus.

"It was a shared journey, we started boxing together, we were side by side right up to going to the Olympics, we got to the top together.

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Parents Damien and Martine Walsh outside the family home.

Parents Damien and Martine Walsh outside the family home.

Parents Damien and Martine Walsh outside the family home.

 

"To do that as brother and sister is just amazing. It's apparent even more now, what we both have achieved and now we can share it with everyone else.

"All of Team Ireland are close, we all share a bond and we all get on so well together. We are a sporting family.

"You learn more together and you make friendships that will last a lifetime because you have shared all these experiences.

"Mentally, I still can't believe not only am I an Olympian but I have a medal to prove it. It's hard to put into words and I don't think that will become real to me for a few years. Maybe when I retire I will look back and realise what I have achieved," Aidan says.

"The Olympics are the pinnacle of sport. I am sitting now with my medal in my hand and I still can't believe it."

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