The 2012 Summer Olympics in London was an extraordinary event due to the fantastic infrastructure and colour as the English people grouped together to put on a show for the world.
From Usain Bolt to Michael Phelps, some of the greatest athletes of all time demonstrated their wealth of talent.
So close to home, the Irish contingent saw these games as a chance to showcase their abilities on a national scale.
A total of 66 Irish athletes arrived in London in a bid to create personal history. Despite the immense number of Irish competitors, there was only one candidate to hold the Irish flag at the opening ceremony.
That was Bray’s Katie Taylor.
The boxing phenomenon was coming into the game on the back of winning a fourth consecutive gold medal at the World Championships. Taylor was one of the main reasons that the women’s boxing was included for the first time at the games.
In a games that saw Englishman Anthony Joshua win gold in heavyweight boxing, she was the star attraction.
Not to let her brigade of fans down, Taylor claimed the inaugural gold in the women’s lightweight division to add to her already unbelievable collection.
Many called for her to go professional, but Taylor persisted in the amateur game until late last year when she signed with Matchroom Boxing.
Eleven months into her professional career she holds a perfect 7-0 record and is the WBA Lightweight champion. Last Saturday she fought on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title bout in front of over 50,000 people.
In an ever-growing sport, Taylor is the star attraction.
After Conor McGregor’s meteoric rise through the UFC featherweight division, many were quick to point out how quickly the Crumlin man went from the unknown to champion.
It took less than two years after McGregor’s UFC debut for him to capture the world title.
Despite his incredible quality in the octagon, there is no doubting that it was skills behind the mic that got him the championship opportunity so fast. McGregor is box office and the UFC know he brings in a crowd like no other.
McGregor has proven just how talented he is and his work rate outside the octagon is unrivalled.
Yet his verbal quality in press conferences have helped immensely in his rise.
Taylor on the other hand relies solely on her boxing talents. Never will you see the Wicklow woman call out a potential opponent on camera.
More importantly, never will you see her refuse any completion or belittle someone for her own benefit.
Taylor is a national icon, yet she goes about her business in the most humble of manner. She is arguable the most gifted Irish athlete of all time but will never present herself with an aura.
A humble girl from Ireland with otherworldly talents.
In a media rich society, most fighters, boxers and martial artist alike, are quick to make a name for themselves with their words knowing a potential pay day could be in the offing.
Taylor is the exception.
She lets her boxing skills come to the fore and we should all bask in it while we can.
She is truly a once in a lifetime athlete with an amazing outlook on her success. As a role model, she possesses everything that is great about this island.
Jack Neville, Pundit Arena