Two-time Olympian and Thomastown native Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe has announced his retirement from athletic competition at the age of 30.
In a letter penned to his eight-year-old self, Lanigan O’Keeffe outlines that while the dream is there, time and his body are against him as he closes the door to this chapter of his life.
Having represented Ireland at the London and Rio Olympic Games in modern pentathlon, he would not recover from a hip injury in time to make the Tokyo games despite having qualified to compete.
Attentions now turn to the world of filmmaking with his aim firmly to “get to the top”.
Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe Retirement Statement
“Dear 8 year-old self,
“I hope I did you proud. I want to thank you for your dreams’ as they fuelled me for the past 22 years. I am truly sorry that I fell short of the Olympic medal you had so wished for, and not getting the chance to give that to you hurts deeply.”
“I gave everything I had to achieve this but my time has run out. Even though I still have the dream inside me, I no longer have a vessel to survive the pursuit. There is only so much a body can take. I know this feels like failure BUT there are so many things I want you to be proud of and grateful for.”
“We are two-time Olympians (and qualified for 3); a World Championship medallist, European Champion, World Cup Champion, World Cup Final medallist. We even managed to reach a ranking of No.2 in the World and No.1 in the Mixed Relay.”
“I hope you are happy with me and that you are proud of who you have become. I now ask for your permission to start following a new dream. 30 year-old Arthur would like to become a Cinematographer (Director Of Photography) and I want to help him get to the top.”
“So, I am afraid this is where we part ways. I will never forget you or the life we led together. I will carry the experiences had and the lessons learnt forward with me. Same fire; new dream.”