Two Irish rowing champions have delighted audiences at the Olympics with their sense of humour and their glorious West Cork accents.
Brothers Paul and Gary O’Donovan from Skibbereen are proving a formidable doubles team both on and off the water. They won silver after coming through all the preliminary races with ease but it’s their relaxed, down to earth manner in post-race interviews that have really caught the public’s attention.
RTÉ spoke to them immediately after they qualified for the finals of the lightweight double sculls event. Gary said: “Ah, so far so good, you know we had a cracker of a race there you know, I think that race had nearly everything you could want for any race.”
Then, with a cheeky reference to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, he added with a smile:
“And I suppose, with the year that’s in it, ’tis great to beat the Brits as well.”
The lads don’t over complicate things when talking about tactics. “Nothing too complex really – A to B as fast as you can go and hope for the best,” Paul said. “Close the eyes and pull like a dog.”
Asked about his plans for the evening after winning his heat, Paul said: “Get a bit of steak. The food is fantastic there like, you could have steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
“With spuds if you like,” Gary chipped in.
They took delays due to bad weather in their stride. Paul said: “We were almost disappointed we couldn’t race yesterday, we were looking forward to that, would have been a bit of craic, but we had to settle with this, but we handled it very well.”
“Gary added: “We’re well used to a bit of wind, that kind of thing wouldn’t faze us at all.”
Here are the lads in action speaking to RTE.
Here are the lads in TV clip with Irish rugby brothers Dave and Rob Kearney.
Here is an interview with the lads after they won the silver medal.
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 12, 2016