In 1980 John made his Olympic debut in Moscow, the great humidity and heat affected him greatly and he was unable to finish the 10,000 m.

But showing great courage, he decided to run in the 5000 m heats. He qualified finishing 4th in the semi-final and after a great run, he finished 7th in the final.

But the highlight of his John Treacy's distinguished career came during the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles where he won the silver medal in the Marathon. John had finished 9th in the final of the 10,000 m, he was running his first marathon so public expectation was not high. Showing great courage and strength, he ran a great race to finish second, cutting the Irish record by the 2 minutes and covering the 26 miles in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 55 seconds.

The local newspaper the Waterford News and Star carried the headline; "John Treacy...becomes a Nation's Hero". It is a memory that has remained everyone who watched it on television.

It was the first Olympic medal since the great Ronnie Delany in Melbourne in 1956. It was the performance of a world class athlete.

In the following years John won many great marathons including Los Angeles in 1992 and in Dublin in 1993. John led the way and his success has been equalled by other great athletes that followed such as Eamon Coughlan and Sonia O Sullivan.

John Treacy was appointed Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council in 1999 (having served as Executive Chairperson from 1997). This is one of the most important positions in Irish sport as the Council is the agency responsible for the promotion and development of sport in all its many forms in Ireland.

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