Derval gets ready to bound down aisle with her Olympic sailor Peter
Published 11/12/2012 | 05:00
IRISH champion hurdler Derval O'Rourke will be bounding down the aisle as she is set to wed her sailor boyfriend Peter O'Leary.
The couple, whose relationship first blossomed four years ago after the Beijing Olympics, got engaged at the weekend.
Derval's mother, Eva, confirmed the good news to the Irish Independent but declined to reveal any further details.
However, the couple's home county of Cork is a likely wedding venue, with Derval (31) hailing from Douglas and Peter (29) from Crosshaven.
The pair share a home in south Dublin with their two dogs.
When contacted by the Irish Independent, Eva O'Rourke said: "She did get engaged... But I wouldn't like to comment on it."
It was at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, when both were nursing disappointments – injury had hampered Derval in the 100m hurdles while Peter had finished 13th in his event – that they first struck up a conversation.
By happy circumstance, they found themselves sitting side by side on the long flight home and spent hours in conversation. They were soon dating and later moved in together.
Derval has previously said that while they are both committed athletes, they rarely discuss life on the track or the waves when they are together.
"People would like to hear that we are sitting there analysing hurdle technique and discussing the possible weather conditions for Weymouth," she said.
The truth is "more boring", she added.
"He rings me, and tells me what positions they came. Otherwise I don't have a clue, just as he doesn't have a clue how to jump a hurdle."
Both Derval and Peter competed in the London Games and competing on the Olympic stage "just seems normal in our house", she joked.
Peter was engulfed in a betting scandal just 48 hours before the opening ceremony last July when it was revealed that he had placed bets while a competitor at the Beijing Olympics.
Last week the International Olympic Committee gave him a warning, but decided not to take any further action.