Golden boy Michael honoured at civic reception

Team McKillop: Michael along with his parents Paddy and Catherine. INNT 45-026-FP
Team McKillop: Michael along with his parents Paddy and Catherine. INNT 45-026-FP

A SPECIAL celebration was held at Mossley Mill on Friday (November 2) in honour of Glengormley athlete Michael McKillop.

The civic reception, which was attended by more than 120 guests, marked the 22-year-old’s fantastic achievement of winning two gold medals at this year’s Paralympic Games in London.

Michael, who has cerebral palsy, retained the 800m title he won in Beijing four years ago, and then showed why he’s been hailed one of the best Paralympic middle distance runners of all time as he dominated the 1,500m race to lift another gold.

He also received a special medal from the International Paralympic Committee at the closing ceremony, honouring him as the male athlete who best exemplified the spirit of the Paralympics at the London Games.

Welcoming guests to the celebration dinner at the council’s headquarters, Mayor Victor Robinson said: “Newtownabbey is very proud to have Michael, our double Paralympic gold medallist, as a citizen and also really proud to have our very own gold post box thanks to Royal Mail.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago since we were here in 2008 celebrating Michael’s first Paralympic gold which he brought back from Beijing.

“We knew four years ago what a talented athlete Michael was and we knew he was young enough to go on to bigger and better things.”

Michael was joined by family, friends and sporting colleagues at the event, and together with other guests they relived his two wins as they were played on large screens.

Several local sporting greats from the Newtownabbey Sporting Hall of Fame were also there to congratulate Michael on his achievements.

Full story and more pics in this week’s Times...