Sunday, May 18, 2003

Two days later than usual, it's high time I introduced another disability-beating Amputee of the Week.

Many of us are guilty of getting legless and singing out of tune from time to time. Well, this week's AOTW is both legless and tuneful.

Irishman Ronan Tynan was born in Johnstown, County Kilkenny. He was born with deformities in both legs but nevertheless became a champion rider and high jumper in his teens.

He later developed severe scoliosis and underwent a bilateral amputation at the age of 20. After the operation he took part in two Paralympic Games, winning a haul of gold medals. In 1984 he was named "the most outstanding disabled athlete in the world."

Tynan spent six years studying medicine in Dublin and at the age of 33 began taking singing lessons. One year later, he won an International Operatic Singing Competition in France before being accepted by the Royal Opera. He established a medical practice -- only to be asked to join the trio of singers known as the "Irish Tenors" in 1998.

Tynan says: "I want people to realize that regardless of what infirmity or disability, it should never stop you doing what you want to do. You can make your mind strong enough to overcome any obstacle that comes your way."

I say slainte Ronan -- you're Amputee of the Week!

Ronan Tynan's Homepage

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