“Close the eyes and pull like a dog”: Irish rowing brothers the O’Donovans are giving the best winners’ interviews at Rio 2016

That's a mantra we'll be repeating long after we've left Rio


We may not be renowned for topping the Olympic medals table but if there’s one thing us Irish folk (have I mentioned I’m Irish?) know how to do it’s have the craic at a major sporting event.


And that’s precisely what rowing brothers Gary and Paul O’Donoghue have been doing while bossing it in the Lightweight Double Sculls in Rio and winning Ireland’s first EVER Olympic medal (Silver) in the rowing.

The boys from Skibbereen in Co Cork first made waves online when they gave a cracking interview following their victory over Italy in the heats, which had been delayed by high winds and choppy waters.

Victory may have evaded them in the semi-final, but a third place finish behind the USA and France still landed them a spot in the final. And of course, another wonderful interview – during which they revealed their dish of choice in the Olympic village – “schteeeeak and schpuds” – and their winning strategy.

“Close the eyes and pull like a dog”.

If that’s not an inspirational quote wall plaque waiting to happen, we don’t know what is.

Those watching the race may have noticed that the brothers were neck and neck with Team GB’s Will Fletcher and Richard Chambers for a time, before pulling ahead and edging them out of the running.

The lads from Cork had only one thing to say about that.

And when they finally claimed the Silver medal in the final – coming second only to France – the duo rounded off their Olympic interview streak with a cheeky quip for John Inverdale on BBC1.

“We’ll have to be careful what we say in front of these lads”, the Cork men laughed.


And three minutes of TV gold for Irish state broadcaster RTE.


T’was a fine day for the parish, to be sure to be sure.