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London 2012: Introducing... Peter O’Leary and David Burrows

Our Olympic profiles continue with the first team being sent across to do Ireland proud.

Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Event: Sailing, Star keelboat class.

Who are they? Peter O’Leary, 28, is the younger man of this partnership, six years the junior of his ship mate David Burrows. The latter is competing in his fourth Olympics. O’Leary, at his second, just happens to be the boyfriend of Cork’s other great medal hope, Derval O’Rourke. No pressure in that house.

Road to London: Perth was the venue for the pair’s tilt at Olympic participation. The World Championships there would determine the 11 qualifiers who would join team GB at the games. In a tumultuous group of races they finished seventh at the first attempt. Though hit with penalties in later events, they clawed their way back and finished ninth overall.

What they says about themselves: Well, they haven’t done too many interviews, but a Q&A on their own site asks them to describe one another in three words. O’Leary said of Burrows, “Determined, athletic and strong as an ox.”

And before you say ‘that’s more than three’, have a gander at Burrows’ response: “He drives the boat like Ayrton Senna and always good for a tip!”

What they’re saying on the internet: Frankie Sheahan called the boys ‘a great medal prospect’ and included them in his top 10 contenders for London.

Medal chances: The small field will ensure intense competition, but they have already won gold in Weymouth (the Olympic venue) and knowing the conditions are a vital part of this competition. Jimmy is enthusiastically putting all three of his thumbs up.


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On the Twitter: These guys are inseparable, they even get together on social media. Find them @OLearyBurrows and wonder whether your jealous or glad to be safe at home in slippers and a snuggee.

If they were a YouTube video they would be... ‘set an open course for the virgin sea.’ A beautiful, beautiful ballad about sailing… and friendship (*whispers, closes eyes and clenches fist”).

YouTube credit: QazDKiyama

Read more of TheScore’s “London 2012: Introducing” series here >

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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