Tuesday 27 September 2016

'Knackered... we were in bed at 8pm' - Subdued celebrations in Rio for O'Donovan heroes

Published 13/08/2016 | 11:46

Gary O'Donovan and Paul O'Donovan of Ireland celebrate after finishing second in the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls A final in Lagoa Stadium, Copacabana, during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Gary O'Donovan and Paul O'Donovan of Ireland celebrate after finishing second in the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls A final in Lagoa Stadium, Copacabana, during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland latest Olympic heroes Paul and Gary O'Donovan celebrated their silver medal winning exploits with an overdue meal and an early night in Rio.

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The social media sensations secured Ireland's first medals of the Rio Games yesterday with a stunning display ti secure silver in the men's double sculls final at the Lagoa Stadium.

The larger than life pair were famished and fatigued when they finally finished the post-race formalities and had little energy left to engage in any major party.

"It was a bit of a circus after the race , we were running around. There was media and we had to go the RTE studio and trying to get around Brazil takes time and there was a lot standing around and talking to people and that kinda stuff," Gary told Brendan O'Connor on RTE Radio One.

"By the time we got back to the village it was about 8pm and we went over and had some dinner because we hadn't eaten all day and then we were knackered, so we went to bed."

The performance of the Skibbereen showmen has captured the imagination of the nation but they remain largely oblivious to the hype.

"We're kind of coming around to it alright. It's so overwhelming. We were discussing it with Dominic last night, how big it was. We didn't imagine it would be as big as it is.

"It's hard to take it all in."

Gary described how he decided to give up alcohol for a year standing outside a nightclub in Skibbereen four years ago in order to make the World under-23 championships.

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