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The laurels of Hardy!

 
Created on 19/09/2010 @ 11:39
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Dean HardyA Welshpool man has become Wales’s latest sporting phenomenon, overcoming athletes from across the world to win the International Loudest Roar Championship during the Paddy Games in Cork.
Game-for-a-laugh Dean Hardy, 38, says he has been in training for 38 years for the event and believes singing karaoke in the Wellington fine tuned his technique in order to bring home gold for Wales.
“It was an incredible honour to be able to represent my country and bring some success back with me,” said Dean, who works at Carpenter & Paterson in the town and was manager of Trewern Football Club until the summer. “I know rugby and football are down in the doldrums at the moment in Wales so I am hoping that my success will lift the spirits of the nation.
“I was the only Welsh athlete at the games so I felt the weight of expectation on my shoulders but I did my best and knew I was in with a shout. The people of Wales have a champion they can truly be proud of.”
Dean entered three events at the Paddy Games. After surprising competitors from 12 countries to take the loudest roar gold, he was eliminated in the first heat of the 100m Welly Hop (blaming his recently purchased boots) before scooping bronze in the ‘Hand of Henri’ which was a sarcastic celebration of the Frenchman’s handling skills.
Dean’s remarkable victory has become a You Tube favourite, with hundreds logging on to see him roar to victory in the stadium’s shot putt ring by reaching 103.6 decibels. It was close though and he was pushed all the way by rivals from Nigeria, Japan, Australia and Argentina to name just four.
He proudly received his medal in front of 3,000 fans (left) whose standing ovation matched his winning efforts. As our only athlete, Dean also carried the Red Dragon at the opening and closing ceremonies.
“It was a day to remember and cherish for the rest of my life and I will be back next year to defend the title for Wales,” he said.
According to its web site, the Paddy Games is open to contestants of all shapes, ages and levels of fitness, and is about removing elitism from sport and enabling the common man and woman (and animal!) to become their own sporting hero. From BBC Radio 2, SABC in South Africa and ABC in Australia, through to The Guardian, The Pakistan Times, Dutch TV NOS and now mywelshpool, both Irish and international media have registered Paddy Games as a global event on the international sports calendar.
The event welcomed 270 athletes from 35 countries who competed in events including Mobile Phone Throwing, Blindfolded 100m, Irish Dancing Hurdles, Pogo Stick High Jump, Backwards Triple Jump and Bog Roll gymnastics.
The Paddy Games’ slogan is ‘Taking Silly Very Seriously’.
See Dean roar to gold for Wales at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NQuL4gg4yU
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