Local viewers tuning into Channel 4 to watch coverage of the Winter Paralympics are likely to be met with a familiar face, as a woman with strong Longford connections is part of the team reporting from the event for the British broadcaster.
Daraine Mulvihill, whose father Liam - former Director General of the GAA - is a native of Kenagh, is providing daily updates from the event alongside news anchor Jon Snow.
Speaking to the Leader from Russia, Daraine said the city of Sochi is not what one might expect of Winter Paralympic venue.
“It’s 25 degrees here today; one of the guys here told me that Sochi is the ‘Ibiza of Russia’,” she laughed.
“They’re working to preserve the snow for the games, although the mountains are still snow-capped.”
Daraine, who works for RTÉ Sport, has worked for Channel 4 on previous occasions, too, including the London Paralympics.
“I also covered the World Athletics Championships in South Korea,” she added.
Covering a paralympic event has special significance for Daraine, as she lost both her legs below the knee after battling meningitis, although she claims she has had it easy compared to some of the competitors.
“Lots of the athletes have had horrific experiences but they’ve come through it,” she said.”
The Winter Paralympics in Sochi comes just weeks after the city hosted the Winter Olympics, and Daraine explained that attitudes have shifted in Russia since the last time the country hosted the former event in 1980.
“Back then they wouldn’t host the paralympics because the government claimed there were no disabled people in Russia,” she revealed, referencing the old communist regimé.
“Russia has come a long way since then, and there are crowds turning out to support the paralympics, which would have been unheard of years ago.”
The world’s eyes are also on Russia at present for different reason, after President Vladimir Putin sent the country’s armed forces to seize control of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
“We’re living in a bubble in the Olympic village,” she admited.
“There’s no mention of it in the media.
“One Russian I spoke to said the West is making a big deal about nothing.”