Aidan Walsh relishing being involved in another Commonwealth Games

Aidan Walsh won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games four years ago in the Gold Coast, before the Belfast boxer followed that success up with a bronze medal at the last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 22nd May 2022, 6:13 am

Walsh along with sister Michaela, who has won silver medals at the last two Commonwealth Games, are leading medal contenders for podium finishes among the 13 strong Team NI boxing squad going to Birmingham this summer.

Walsh lost in the final four years ago to England’s Pat McCormick, and the pair went on to meet in the Olympic semi-final, but after injuring himself celebrating his last-eight victory Merven Clair of Mauritius the Emerald club fighter came home with a bronze.

“An undefeated Olympian a few people have said that to me,” laughed Walsh.

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Aidan Walsh won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics to follow up his silver at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Luis Robayo - Pool/Getty Images)

“It’s great because who knows how far I could have went and it is something going forward in the Commonwealth Games how far can I go.

“It was just a freak accident, looking back now I didn’t realise I could jump that high and now I know not to do it in the future if I ever get to that point again which I hope to do, it is great to be an Olympian.

“For me it is going into the unknown of how far I can go, I’m willing to test myself and looking forward see how far I can get.”

Walsh is looking forward to fighting in another major tournament and sharing the experience with his sister.

“It is my second Commonwealth Games along with my sister and it is her third games which is great,” he said.

“This is my second Commonwealth Games and I don’t know if I’ll be about for the next one.

“My main goal is to go a bit further than I went the last time and just trying to enjoy it and soak it all in because before you know it goes in a flash.

“I’m really looking forward to it and to do it again with my sister is amazing and to do it with great people and for my boxing club it is great.

“Michaela and me were always really close and we still are.

“She is my best friend, someone who I confide in, someone I trust massively and she is a massive part of my success and my career.

“If she hadn’t been boxing, I don’t think I would have been here.

“She always expects the best of me and vice versa and together it’s great to have each other.”

With McCormick turning professional after Tokyo Walsh will be favourite for the gold medal in Birmingham.

“For me I just want to enjoy it as much as I can,” he said.

“Looking back in years to come this will be a blink of an eye.

“Of course there is a lot of pressure, but pressure is always something that I have had to deal with growing up with Michaela, and who she is and the record she has of international medals.

“So I have had to always live up to that and she has always put a lot of pressure on me to see how well I could do.

“To be coming here an Olympic medallist going into the Commonwealth Games its is something amazing.

“It would be great to get a gold, looking back I now I try to enjoy it as much as I can, do your best and that is all you can ask for.

“So fingers crossed but you never know what could happen but that is what we are aiming for.”

Walsh went from cheering his sister on in Glasgow to being among the medal winners with her four years later in Australia.

“At the Glasgow games I remember being on a train going to the venue to watch Michaela in the final,” he recalled.

“There was a reporter there and he asked me my plans and I said I’d love to be in the Commonwealth Games.

“In the Gold Coast the same reporter put up a post saying this time four years ago I was speaking to her brother going to watch Michaela as a spectator now they are both in the final and that is something I’d love to replicate speaking to the press with me and her in the final.

“She has great experience, she has been there done it and wore the t-shirt so I’m always looking advice and the last time I was at a home games I was there watching so to be there competing is amazing.”