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At Athlete on Demand, we believe professional athletes have important stories to tell and can inspire others in a unique and unparalleled way. Their histories of discipline, hard work and overcoming adversity are motivating to others, regardless of the sport. Succeeding in the world of professional sports means dedicating yourself fully to your passions and goals, and it also means facing rejection and failure—and coming out on top.

Each week, Athlete on Demand highlights a professional athlete who has excelled in their field and is an example of determination and perseverance in their personal and professional life.

This week we are featuring Irish gymnast Kieran Behan.

Early life
As a child, Kieran was placed in a wheelchair following complications from an operation. Determined to return to gymnastics, he began training again one year later, only to fall off a high bar and suffer a head injury that led to a loss of balance and coordination skills. Still, this setback didn’t stop Kieran, and he returned to his sport several years later, progressing to win several awards as a Junior gymnast.

In 2011, Kieran competed at the European Championships and the World Challenge Cup series where he won silver and bronze medals. He raised money through fundraisers in order to compete in the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. In 2021, he qualified for the Summer Olympics, making him the second Irish gymnast to qualify for the Olympics. He went on to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

His story of perseverance and determination are an inspiration to many.