The boys from the back of beyond – the O’Donovan brothers
Irish lightweight scullers, Paul and Gary O’Donovan are the stars of a new documentary by Red Bull which tells the story of their success and is set in their hometown of Skibbereen and it’s brilliant!
The Way of the Wildcard documentary was released today with Ireland’s infamous rowing brothers showing the filmmakers around Skibbereen and the rowing club. In the film talks to the brothers family about their life in Ireland. When asked what they were like as kids, their mother Trish replied, “They were mad. They were wild, they were wild boys.”
Gary and Paul discuss their wayward childhood and say that rowing meant they had less energy for fighting. “Garry hit me in an argument over a heater upstairs one day, gave me a clocking to the head and he hurt his hand so he couldn’t train for the week.” As the boys matured and realised that if they weren’t hurting each other in the week, then the boat might go faster. And so it did. The O’Donovan’s won Ireland’s first ever Olympic rowing medal, winning silver at Rio in 2016 and are now aiming for Tokyo 2020.
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The brothers say that their differences make them the perfect team. “Gary is always doing more looking for the fun and the banter. I was a bit more serious,” says Paul. “If the two of us were like me, we could have just trained so hard we’d get sick and tired of it and if we were like Gary we mightn’t have trained hard enough all the time. But the combination of the two of us – it worked out.”