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'The world and their mother are happy for them': O'Donovan family on historic Olympic win

The brothers said they haven’t had a chance to let their silver medal win sink in.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

PAUL O’DONOVAN HAS said he and his brother Gary haven’t been able to let their Olympic medal win sink in as they’ve been so busy since claiming silver in the men’s lightweight double sculls final on Friday.

Speaking on C103’s Cork Today, Paul said: “We haven’t had too much time to think about the achievement really.

“We’ve been hearing a lot of things from home and they’re all after going mad in Skibbereen and all over the country. It is kind of a big thing really.”

He said they have “done a little bit [of celebrating]“, and tried to fit in some sightseeing in Rio de Janeiro too.

Gary is staying on in Brazil for another week, but Paul is leaving to go to the World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam.

The brothers have made international headlines thanks to their laid-back approach to interviews and humble attitudes.

Paul said it’s “kind of frightening to think about [the internet reaction]“, adding that Irish race walker Rob Heffernan told them their lives might “never be the same again” due to the media attention.

He expects a homecoming party to take place in Skibbereen in late August or early September.

The brothers also have another event coming up, with Paul noting an open invitation to a Debs was sent to them on Twitter, saying: “We’ll have to decide who’ll go to that.”

Proud parents

On the same show, their mother Trish said:

It seems that the world and their mother are happy for them and delighted for them, and have taken them on board as two ambassadors for the country and rowing … that is fantastic.

She said she is very proud of her sons making history, securing Ireland’s first-ever medal in rowing at the Olympics.

When asked about their personalities, she said: “Ah sure they’re stone mad, they’re wild. They were always as wild as could be [as children] … They’d find fun in everything.”

Their father Teddy, who coached them for years, said:

The day I took them rowing, their lives were never the same again really.

He said his sons truly love the sport and that drive “was always in them”.

Teddy added that he always thought they had a good chance of winning a medal.

“I had made the prediction. When it comes down to an Olympic final you obviously don’t know because it comes down to the finest of margins. But I did, I had them tipped to be challenging for a medal … that was before they went out to the Olympics at all.”

Read: Joy for Irish rowing as O’Donovan brothers claim historic silver medal at Olympics

Read: 7 times YouTube didn’t have a notion what the O’Donovan brothers were saying

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Órla Ryan

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