Universal Honda, in conjunction with Clonskeagh Motors in Dublin, recently appointed Olympian Gráinne Murphy as a brand ambassador for Honda in Ireland.
Murphy realised her dream last November when she secured her place to swim for Ireland in the Olympic Games in London in July. She achieved her goal after finishing third in the 800m freestyle event at the Dutch Open Championship last December. She had already made qualifying times in 2009 and 2010, but it was too early to be ratified for Olympics 2012.
On becoming an ambassador for Honda, Murphy was presented with the keys of a Honda CR-Z Sports hybrid coupé which she “absolutely loves to drive”.
In handing over the keys, Dermot Murphy of Clonskeagh Motors expressed his delight at the partnership: “We are very excited by this collaboration with Gráinne and we wish her every success. We are proud to support such a successful ambassador and help her achieve her dream of her first Olympic medal when she represents Ireland in London in July.”
It is a long time since, as an 11-years-old, Gráinne Murphy first took up swimming competitively.
Because of amazing dedication to training and her talent, she went on to make her international debut at the European Youth Olympics in 2007, picking up a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle event.
The following year she reached the final of the European Juniors and in 2009 picked up three gold medals at the same tournament, in the 200m and 400m individual medley and in the 800m freestyle event. She also secured bronze in the 1500m freestyle.
She won her first senior medals in 2010 when she claimed bronze in the 400m and 800m freestyle events in the European Short Course Championships. Later that year, she went on to win silver at the European Long Course Championship in Budapest, breaking the Irish record for the 1500m freestyle event by 26 seconds.
Originally from Ballinaboola, Co Wexford, Gráinne Murphy has received the Texaco Young Sportstar Award and the Irish Times Sports Woman of the Year Award.