Meet Ireland's Olympic team: Gary and Paul O'Donovan

Keep an eye on these lads.

Image: Detlev Seyb/

Event: Rowing, lightweight double sculls

Who are they? Paul and Gary O’Donovan are European champions and the siblings have been making quite a name for themselves in recent times.

Where are they from? Lisheen in west Cork, but Skibbereen, about 10km down the road, is where they do most of their rowing.

Olympic CV: It’s the first Olympics for the pair, although you’d imagine it won’t be the last.

Road to Rio: They qualified for the Games at the world rowing championships last September and they’ve been going from strength to strength since.

When do they start? D-day is Tuesday, 9 August.

Where can I follow them? Gary does his tweeting here. Paul over this way. Gary is also on Instagram.

What they say:  Gary and Paul popped in to The42 HQ earlier this year and let’s just say they’re enjoying where they are at right now.

“I hope it will spur on a lot of people and people will start to realise that Irish rowing can be really successful again. We used to be really successful in the early 2000s,” Gary said.

“It was huge, we’ve been progressing each year and hopefully we can keep going on an upward curve.”

Medal chances? A medal isn’t expected but it’s definitely within reach.

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They’ve consistently proven that they are comfortable in elite company and will likely find themselves in a final alongside the likes of South Africa, Norway, Great Britain and France. They are definitely worth keeping an eye on.

And for all that they get themselves four out of five on the Jerry Kiernan scale…

And here’s something you probably didn’t know: Dad Teddy got them involved in rowing through the famed Skibbereen RC, a club that has produced a number of Olympians, including Eugene Coakley (2000, 2004), Richard Coakley (2008) and Timmy Harnedy (2004).

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About the author:

Alan Waldron

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