[DELANY, Ronnie] Original Associated Press Photograph depicting Irish Olympic Gold Medallist Ronnie Delaney crossing the finish line arms outstretched to win the 1,500-meter run of Olympics at Melbourne, Australia. The photograph is dated 12-01-1956 and measures 252 x 210mm.
Ronnie Delany qualified for the Olympic 1500m final, in which Australian runner John Landy was the major favourite. Delany kept close to Landy until the final lap, when he started a crushing final sprint, winning the race in a new Olympic record. Delany thereby became the first Irishman to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics since Bob Tisdall in 1932. The Irish people learned of its new champion at breakfast time. He would be Ireland’s last Olympic champion for 36 years, until Michael Carruth won a gold medal in boxing at the 1992 Olympics. He went on to represent Ireland once again at the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, this time in the 800 metres. He finished sixth in his quarter-final heat.
Delany continued his running career in North America, winning four successive AAU titles in the mile, adding to his total of four Irish national titles, and three NCAA titles. He was unbeatable on indoor tracks over that period with a 40-race winning streak. He broke the World Indoor Mile Record on three occasions. In 1961 Delany won the gold medal in the World University games in Sofia, Bulgaria. He retired from competitive running in 1962.
Delany retired from competitive athletics in 1962, he secured his status as one of Ireland’s most recognisable Olympian’s as well as one of the greatest sportsmen and international ambassadors in his country’s history.
After retiring from competitions Delany first worked in the United States for the Aer Lingus. After that, for almost 20 years, he was Assistant Chief Executive of B&I Line, responsible for marketing and operations of the Irish Ferry Company based in Dublin. In 1998 he established his own company focused on marketing and sports consultancy. In 2006, Delany was granted the Freedom of the City of Dublin. He was also conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by University College Dublin in 2006.