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Sunday 22 January 2017

'Losing money in a pyramid scheme turned into a good lesson'

Published 20/11/2016 | 02:30

Rob Heffernan's first book ‘Walking Tall: The Autobiography of a World Champion and Olympic Medallist’, has just been published. Photo: Sportsfile
Rob Heffernan's first book ‘Walking Tall: The Autobiography of a World Champion and Olympic Medallist’, has just been published. Photo: Sportsfile

The Irish racewalker Rob Heffernan has represented Ireland in five Olympics, including in Rio de Janeiro last August. Earlier this month, he received his bronze medal for the 2012 London Olympics - following a decision to upgrade his position in the 50km walk.

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Heffernan had finished fourth in the walk in the London Olympics but he was promoted to third following the disqualification of the Russian race winner Sergei Kirdyapkin for a doping violation. Heffernan, who is from Togher in Co Cork, is married to Marian, who is also an athlete. His first book 'Walking Tall: The Autobiography of a World Champion and Olympic Medallist', has just been published. In it he describes the challenges he has faced on his way to the top.

What is the most important lesson about money that your career as an athlete has taught you?

I have to manage being a professional athlete on a shoestring budget, so I have cut my cloth to meet my measure. The more funding I was able to invest in my sport, the more success I have had.

What's the most expensive country you have ever travelled to?

Switzerland.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The old pennies and the old punt - they've a lot of character.

Are you better off than your parents?

Yes.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

Marian's engagement ring.

What was your worst job?

Delivering drinks for a drinks company. I was so light that I always struggled to carry loads of slabs of Coca-Cola up and down steps. One day I dropped the whole lot of them.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Investing money in a pyramid scheme when I was young and broke - and looking for a quick fix. However, looking back now, this was a good lesson.

What was your best financial killing?

I bought my house when the property market bottomed out.

Do you use any money-saving apps?

No.

Android or iPhone?

iPhone.

Do you know how much is in your current account?

Yes.

What was the last thing you bought online?

Lactate strips for my lactate machine - for training.

Do you have a mortgage? Is it fixed, variable or tracker?

I have a variable mortgage.

Would you buy Irish property now? Why?

No - because I don't have the time.

Cash or card?

Card.

Do you ever haggle?

When in Rome yes - when it is correct to do so. I don't mind spending though - once I get a deal I am happy with and I have not been ripped off.

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