Kilcullen butcher James Nolan (47) has won a number of medals bronze in his first event at the 8th European Transplant & Dialysis Championship in Krakow today in the Summer Bi-athlon event
A veteran to transplant sport, James has competed in various European and World Transplant Competitions since receiving his kidney transplant from his sister Catherine 27 years ago.
The multi-award winning butcher from Kilcullen has raised in excess of over €1.3 million for kidney research.
He won bronze in the Summer Biathlon and said he is delighted to do so.
This was his first time to compete in this new transplant Sport event, which involves running and shooting, an adaption of the Winter Biathlon where running replaces skiing.
Speaking directly after the event, James said “it’s wonderful to be out here at the Games.
“There is a great atmosphere and its wonderfully organised. The Poles dominated and I was sandwiched with four of them in front and four behind me during the race.
“It was lovely to phone my sister Catherine after to give her the good news as if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be here.
“I’m also very grateful to Tommy O’Brien from the Harbour House Gun Club and my athletics coach Kevin Walker for training me for the Games.”
James has been joined in Krakow by his wife Emma and baby son Andrew James.
And In an interesting twist of fate James has been paired with his own consultant, Ron Grainger, to compete in the same handicap competition last Thursday, August 21.
Ron, a kidney transplant recipient, secured gold and James securing silver.
“The Irish played brilliantly today in golf. I was chuffed to see Ron win the gold as he is a wonderful surgeon, brilliant doctor and absolute gentleman.”
The 8th European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships are being held in Krakow, Poland from August 16- 23. Every athlete at the Games will either have already received a kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas or bone marrow transplant or are on dialysis.
There are 34 members of Transplant Team Ireland competing in the European event and they range in age from 16 to 76.