NOTE: Graphic images are contained below
UPDATE: In an Instagram story, Woolley has told his fans he has been in the hospital for about 15 hours, “it looks worse than it is, so don’t worry.”
Jack Woolley, who competed for Ireland in taekwondo at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, has been brutally attacked in what appears to be a spree of random street violence in Dublin.
Woolley took to Instagram to share the story and some graphic images of the aftermath of the attack. The Olympian says he was walking on the street with some friends when they encountered a group of men and women roaming the street engaging in what looked like random attacks on strangers.
Unfortunately I was victim to these random attacks as I was just walking bye before I was punched in the face by one of these group members. Only one punch and followed by “my mistake wrong person” then they continued to run off down the road attacking more civilians minding their own business.
Woolley is currently in the hospital having surgery.
There has been a huge outpouring of both support for Woolley and disgust at the incident.
“Fucking disgraceful an olympian and national hero being assaulted in his own country/city,” said Instagram user rorycreane, “if anything good comes from this its that it should bring some more attention to this case and put pressure on for the culprits to be caught.”
Woolley was the first Irish athlete to compete in taekwondo at a Summer Olympic Games. His loss in the first round was a surprise to many, losing only in the final seconds of his match. He has said that his intention wasn’t to compete in Tokyo, but to win.
Recently Woolley said he had not experienced homophobia in his sport and he has found athletes respectful of him. Though one competitor has refused to shake his hand, something Woolley believed was for religious reasons.
There is no evidence this attack was motivated in any way by his sexual orientation, and Woolley says it was just the wrong place at the wrong time.
We of course wish the Olympian a full and speedy recovery.