Patricia Donegan McCarthy discovered the sport of speed skating at the age of 11 at Kirk Park on Syracuse's South Side. As a young teenager, she competed - and won - enough events to earn recognition as the area's finest skater. She represented the Crystle Skating Club which was founded by Ed Kileen, an Olympic contestant. In 1941, she won the Senior W women's 220 and 440-yard races at Green Lakes. That year she was the only triple winner at Kirk Park and won the senior women's 220 and 440 plus the juvenile girls 220 at Onondaga Park.
The following year she entered the Hudson Valley Outdoor Speed Skating Championship in Troy and took first place in the 440 Juvenile Girls event. That year she also won 220 and 440 races at Kirk Park and the 100, 220 and 440 at the Green Lakes races sponsored by the Herald Journal, which recognized McCarthy as one of the city's top athletes. From 1943 to 1947, McCarthy continued to dominate the women's speed skating scene by winning medal after medal in the 220 and 440.
In 1993, McCarthy came out of retirement to try her hand at other sports in the State Senior Games. She medaled in swimming and tennis and in 1999 added badminton to her repertoire. In 1999, McCarthy took gold in mixed doubles and doubles as well as silver in singles badminton. She has dominated the sport at the Senior Games ever since and has competed in National Senior Olympic Games in 2003 at Virginia Beach and in 2005 at Pittsburgh. She has won two gold medals, a silver, a bronze and two ribbons in the Senior Olympics.
One of McCarthy’s most cherished honors is her 1998 induction into the Urban Syracuse Hall of Fame.
1941: Won the Senior W women's 220 and 440-yard races at Green Lakes
1998: Inducted into the Urban Syracuse Hall of Fame
1999: State Senior Games medalist in badminton