A teenager with Ramona connections will represent Ireland this week at the Winter Olympics in Russia. He’s been referred to as an “Irish American snowboarding sensation.”
Seamus O’Connor, 16, was born and raised in Ramona and is the son of Kevin O’Connor, owner of Hidden Valley Ranch Rehabilitation Services Inc., a center for adults with traumatic brain injuries in Ramona.
The U.S.-born Seamus, who will be competing in the half-pipe and slopestyle events in Sochi, is eligible to represent Ireland because his grandparents hail from Dublin and Drogheda, according to reports, which also noted that the teen’s mother is Russian, so he will be competing in her homeland.
Seamus first tried snowboarding at age 4 and began competing at age 8, stated his biography on the Olympic website. He has trained in Park City, Utah, and in New Zealand, said Jim Hernandez at Hidden Valley Ranch.
The snowboarder’s goal has been to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The 16-year-old, who lives in San Diego, is scheduled to compete in the slopestyle qualifications on Feb. 6, the day before opening ceremonies.