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Irish Paralympic legend Leahy plans to paint Beijing landscape
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13:12, September 08, 2008

As a sports legend, Tom Leahy of Ireland has won six medals in six Paralympic Games and hopefully will collect one more in the Beijing Paralympics. As a painter, he plans to draw landscape about Beijing city.

Tough Leahy failed to cruise to the boccia quarter-finals in the mixed individual BC2 after two losses on Sunday and one win on Monday in Group B, he was still very confident with his foreground in Beijing.

"I had a headache yesterday and that's why I didn't do well. I will attend the team competition, aiming at one medal," Leahy told Xinhua.

The 51-year-old man with inborn cerebral palsy is a frequenter at the Paralympics as he competed in all seven Games since the New York Pralympics in 1984. He took golds in shot put in 2004 and three silvers in discus throw in Sydney and two bronzes in Atlanta.

"My hip was hurt for several years and I can't practise shot and discus anymore. Then I began to focus on boccia," Leahy explained.

Leahy is a painter in Ireland, drawing landscapes for children's books and once holding an exhibition of his works at home.

"I took photos in the Paralympic village as well as the Great Wall. I will visit more places in Beijing as long as I have time. Definitely, I will draw pictures about this city after I come back home," he said.

"Beijing Paralympics is the best I have ever experienced. When I finish all the competition, I will watch the track & field competitions."

Boccia, derived from the Latin word for ball, is a traditional recreational sport dating back to the ancient Greeks - a ball tossing game where points are awarded for accuracy.

It is played in 42 countries and regions and is governed by the International Boccia Committee (IBC) under the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association.

Source: Xinhua

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