The Olympic Council of Ireland recently announced Team Ireland leaders for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Among them is Adare native Tom Reidy, who will head Ireland’s badminton team at next year’s Games. The Adare man has been the sport’s Performance Director since early 2013 and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of performance in the country.

Reidy began his badminton career at the age of 7 under Br. Dwane in Adare and went on to win national badminton titles at all levels. He was the first player to win a quadrangular gold medal for the country and was the youngest player ever to win the Irish junior title and the senior title at just 17 years old. Overall Tom Reidy won 22 Irish titles.

He left Ireland at the age of 18 on a badminton scholarship to Arizona and quickly resumed winning ways on the other side of the Atlantic. In 1992 he became the only full time student to qualify for the Barcelona Olympics where, with his doubles partner Benny Lee, he reached the last sixteen. Four years later the pair were crowned World men’s doubles champions in Sofia.

Reidy holds a place in American University sports history as the man with the most collegiate championship rings, twelve in total.

Now domiciled in Sweden, Tom served as assistant U.S.A. badminton coach from 1996 to 1997 before taking up a position as Sweden’s assistant coach from 1997 to 2002, and that country’s national coach from 2009 to 2012. He also coached the Swedish under 17 and 19 teams from 1997 to 2001.

For now the Adare man’s focus as Performance Director is on medal success for Ireland at major championships, and they do not come any bigger than the Olympic Games.