Athletes from over thirty countries will have travelled to Ireland for training or participation in Olympic/Paralympic related events before the London Games.
The US Synchronised Swimming Squad, South Korea Olympic Swimming Squad, UK Paralympic Swimming Team, UK Water-Polo team and individual swimmers from Poland, Venezuela, Surinam and the Cayman Islands participated in training camps at the National Aquatic Centre (NAC). The Dublin Cup Water-Polo competition, which took place in the NAC earlier this month, included teams from Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania and the UK. International matches between the UK and Hungarian Water-Polo men's squads also took place last year.
A men's Hockey Olympic Qualifying Tournament was hosted at the National Hockey Stadium in UCD in March this year with teams from Chile, Korea, Malaysia, Russia and the Ukraine. The Indian and Tunisian boxing squads participated in training camps with the Irish team at the National Boxing Stadium last month. Ireland also hosted an international pentathlon preparation camp for the London Games with athletes from Austria, Germany, Lithuania and Russia.
Badminton Ireland hosted a pre-Olympic training camp in Dublin this month with representatives from Portugal, Iceland, Finland, Czech Republic, Egypt and the UK. The Vietnam and Zambia Paralympic teams accepted invitations to avail of pre-Games training camps. The teams are being facilitated under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Irish Aid Programme, in partnership with my Department and the Irish Sports Council. Morton Stadium in Santry will host a Pre-Games International Athletics Event later this month with athletes competing from Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Jamaica, New Zealand, Sweden, the US and the UK.