Physiotherapists Named In Support Team For Tokyo Olympic Games


Experienced Professionals to Support Team Ireland Following Robust Selection Process

3 July, 2020

Following a robust selection process, the Olympic Federation of Ireland and Chef de Mission Tricia Heberle today named the team of physiotherapists who will support Team Ireland athletes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. Paul Carragher and Julianne Ryan were appointed to support the team in Tokyo, while Eimear Crowley will be the physiotherapist in the holding camp in Fukuroi.

All three will work directly with Sports Physiotherapy Lead, Sarah-Jane McDonnell in the build up to, and throughout the Games period. They also join a group of sport specific physiotherapists who will be nominated by their sports for consideration and will be announced at the completion of Olympic qualification in 2021.

  • Paul Carragher will be based in the headquarters in Tokyo and has 20 years of experience working in high performance and Olympic sports, including the Rio Olympic Games and the London Paralympic Games. Carragher is the lead physiotherapist for the Athletics Ireland, the Head of Performance Support for Cycling Ireland and supports athletes in gymnastics and taekwondo.
  • Julianne Ryan will be based in the headquarters in Tokyo and has Olympic and European Games experience. Ryan was the lead physiotherapist for the Rio boxing team, and currently supports athletes across swimming, diving, badminton, modern pentathlon, judo and golf.
  • Eimear Crowley will be based in the Pre-Games Training Camp in Fukuroi, and has European Games, and international championship experience. Crowley primarily supports athletes from rowing, athletics and the women’s hockey team, and is currently based in Cork.

A key objective in the recruitment process was to ensure a seamless transition for athletes from their normal training and competition environment to the Olympic Games. Sports Physiotherapy Lead Sarah-Jane McDonnell is satisfied with these appointments, acknowledging the continuity of care for athletes who will work with professionals with whom they are familiar. McDonnell said,

“This familiarity is important for athletes and coaches when they reach the Olympic Games, the athletes can be confident that when they are competing on the greatest stage they are being looked after by people who know them and their management plans. These appointments a year out from the Games gives us all an opportunity to build on our team model for Games support. The physiotherapists appointed are highly qualified and experienced practitioners who are currently embedded in many of the NGBs.”

Head of Performance Support Phil Moore added, “The physiotherapy team will be well-known to the Olympic athletes in Tokyo. One of our key criteria in the robust selection process was to ensure that there was a continuity of care for athletes going to the Games. There is a real depth of expertise in this team and strong working relationships with the Olympic sports.”    

The Olympic Games were originally meant to take place in Tokyo this summer and will now run from the 23 July to the 8August 2021, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. This is the first time that an Olympic Games has been postponed.  Irish athletes are currently in the qualification stages across their sports.


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