These days Sonia doesn’t pound the streets and roads around Cobh but her hometown has a special place in her heart as she is an icon for up and coming athletes in many corners of this country.
The Sydney Olympics of 2000 was another case of so close and yet so far as she finished runner-up to Gabrielle Szabo in the 5,000 final as the diminutive Romanian pipped the Cobh girl in a sensational race to the tape.
There have been many sporting heroes in this great city and county, but the achievements of Sonia O’Sullivan put her right up there among the greatest.
Sonia O’Sullivan was born in Cobh in 1969 and attended the Cobh Vocational and St Mary’s schools in the town.
She began her athletics career with the Ballymore/Cobh club.
Sonia won the World Cross-country and the European Championships 5,000m and 10,000m double in 1998.
O’Sullivan announced her retirement from athletics in April 2007 after competing in the Great Bupa Run in Dublin.
Sonia was given the Freedom of Cork in 2005.