Gymnastics Ireland star Rhys McClenaghan - 2023 RTE Sportsperson of the year!

16th December 2023, 23:58p.m. | National

16.12.23. Donnybrook, Dublin 4; Two time European & World Champion Rhys McClenaghan was today named "RTÉ Sport Sportsperson of the Year" during a live broadcast of the 2023 RTÉ Sport Awards at RTE Studios in Dublin.

McClenaghan was up against a host of top Irish sports stars, all of whom have hit big on the global stage this year. These included:

  • Rugby Player, Johnny Sexton
  • Footballer, Katie McCabe
  • Boxer, Katie Taylor
  • Jockey, Paul Townend
  • Paralympic Swimmer, Róisín Ní Riain
  • Hurler, Aaron Gillane

As he was named the 2023 RTE Sportsperson of the Year live on RTÉ One & RTÉ Player Rhys commented:

“I can’t believe I’m holding this in my hands! It’s amazing. It’s just incredible that I’m an Irish gymnast taking home world titles and that’s never been done before. I’m so proud to be able to do that. I want to thank all of all of the nominees for this award for inspiring me and every Irish athlete at the highest level in this country it’s incredible from Johnny’s beautiful leadership for the Irish rugby team to Katie’s undeniable success in the boxing ring and leaving a legacy unmatched is inspiring for me so I want to thank all those athletes. Although it’s an individual sport there is a team behind us as individual athletes and it’s incredible that I have that support from Gymnastics Ireland, from everybody at Sport Ireland. It all works towards that ultimate goal to bring home medals for the country and hopefully we can go one further at the Olympic Games in Paris.”

Men’s Olympic Programme coach Luke Carson said:

Rhys' incredible achievements this year have been once again record breaking… the remarkable feat of retaining both his European and World titles in my view solidifies him as one of Ireland's most successful athletes. Rhys stands tall as a role model, inspiring young minds both in and out of the sports arena.”

Also commenting on the win, Gymnastics Ireland CEO Ciaran Gallagher said:

"With multiple World Cup finals & medals, securing his 2nd European title, 2nd World title and booking his place for Paris 2024 Rhys further cemented his place as a global gymnastics star and Irish national sports star in 2023. Huge congratulations to Rhys, his personal coach & our Olympic Programme Coach Luke Carson, our Performance & Technical Manager Sally Johnson and of course Rhys' family and friends! Special thanks also to our partners in Sport Ireland and the Olympic Federation of Ireland in addition to Rhys' agent Sinead Galvin - all part of the team that continues to support Rhys as we head towards Paris 2024!. This is a night for Rhys, his family, friends and support team to celebrate for sure!"

An independent panel of expert judges named Rhys as the 'RTE Sportsperson of the Year' due to the remarkable global success he achieved this year. The awards took place live in RTÉ's studios, presented by Joanne Cantwell and Darragh Maloney where they also acknowledged other stand-out achievements of the best in Irish sport through awarding the Young Sportsperson of the Year, Team of the Year, Manager of the Year as well as inducting a new member of the RTÉ Hall of Fame.

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