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Ireland has been winning Gold medals at the Olympics, but it's not what you think

Ireland has ranked 11th in the world at the ‘Skills Olympics’ in Brazil.

Irish Team The Irish team at the event in Sao Paulo

IN THE PAST week Ireland has been winning gold medals at the Skills Olympics in Brazil.

The event sees apprentices, trainees and students competing against each other in a number of different skills areas.

Included in these are joinery, plumbing, beauty therapy and construction metal work.

In total, Ireland has finished up with two gold medals, eight Medallions of Excellence, and in 11th place overall.

The event

The event held in Sao Paolo in Brazil, officially known as the World Skills Competition, is run every two years. The initial idea for it grew out of a national competition held in Spain in the 1950s and it has been running in its current format since the 1970s.

This year around 1,200 competitors from 70 different countries and regions have competed in more than 50 different skills areas.

King of Sao Paulo Gold medal winner Ros Wynne

Those competing are all under the age of 25 and have competed at a national level to be selected to take part.

Competitors were required to demonstrate their skills in a variety of areas both individually and as part of a collective. It is estimated that 200,000 people visited the event over the course of its four days.

Irish winners

Ireland’s gold medals came in the area of restaurant service and aircraft maintenance, won by Alina Síle and Ros Wynne respectively.

The 8 Medallions of Excellence were awarded for beauty therapy; joinery; electrical installation; cabinet making; automobile technology; plumbing; plastering and dry wall; and construction metal work.

Queen of Sao Paulo Gold medal winner Alina Sile

The Irish team has been funded by a number of different bodies, including SOLAS, the Higher Education Authority and Institutes of Technology from across the country.

Since the establishment of the Irish national skills competition in 1957, competitors at the Skills Olympics have brought home 59 gold medals, 53 silver medals, 79 bronze medals and 152 diplomas or medallions.

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