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The doctor is in (the Olympics): Desmond makes Irish history | Obituaries



The biggest challenge simply might have been that Ireland didn’t even have a luge federation. So, she started one herself.

And now, officially, she is a luge Olympian.

She was the 26th sled to cross the line in the first run of the women’s race on Monday night. At that point, she was in 26th place — faster than exactly none of the other finishers. Didn’t matter; her massive smile could been seen through her Irish green visor, and her little fists punched the cold air in celebration.

By night’s end, out of the 34 sliders still in the competition, she was 34th.

“I have another job, I have to self-fund, I have all these really visible challenges,” Desmond said. “But other people have challenges that we can’t see. So, I think mine, yes, is a very obvious challenge. But I think everyone’s worked as hard as they can to be here.”

Her hospital not only gave her the time off, but they’ve become luge fans in a country where sliding sports aren’t exactly overwhelmingly popular. Desmond is a doctor in general surgery at Ireland’s Southend University Hospital.

The hospital’s chief medical officer, David Walker, said her co-workers are “immensely proud of her.”



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