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Dublin: 15°C Thursday 29 October 2020

'Since I was a teenager, I would always have felt sick after certain types of food'

Irish karate star Caradh O’Donovan on battling Crohn’s disease, funding her dream and aiming for the Tokyo Olympics.


IRISH ATHLETE CARADH O’Donovan is aiming to represent her country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Sligo native first came to prominence as a top-level kickboxer, winning countless accolades in the sport, including triumphs at World Cups and European Championships.

More recently, O’Donovan has taken on a new challenge, as she aims to compete at the Olympics in karate, taking up the sport initially almost as a hobby last year, before a number of encouraging results spurred the 34-year-old on to pursue her current goal.

O’Donovan’s task is made more difficult by the debilitating  Crohn’s disease she suffers from.

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Having been diagnosed with the disease, defined as “a chronic (long-term) condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system,” in 2014, O’Donovan has had to cope with the side effects of this problem (which can include vomiting and diarrhoea during flare-ups) while competing in elite-level sport.

Check out the video above, where she elaborates on the various challenges she faces while aiming to realise her dream.

You can also help Caradh on her journey by donating to her GoFundMe page here.

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

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