A European silver medallist in 2017, Skibb rower Denise Walsh made huge progress these past 12 months – and she tips another set of brothers from Skibbereen Rowing Club to shine in 2018
If you could relive one sporting moment from the past year, what would it be and why? It would probably be the European Rowing Championships in the Czech Republic back in May. It was such fun racing the final, coming from behind to win a silver medal and I really liked the way I was rowing during the race. The fact that all the lads – Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan (gold), Gary and Paul O’Donovan (silver) – won medals too, it was really cool meeting them all on the podium platform after the racing! It felt like home in Skibbereen!
Picture this: Donald Trump has relocated to West Cork – fake tan, quiff and all – and he is interested in the local sports scene, what sport do you think would best suit the American President? Probably golf as I think he plays that already and we’ve a few good courses locally so that will keep him occupied and out of trouble for a while at least.
What will you miss most about 2017? My youth!
Who do you think is West Cork’s biggest sports star? Darren Sweetnam – it’s great to see him playing and performing for both Munster and Ireland.
Outside of your sport, what sporting moment from 2017 captured your imagination? Is there a world outside of rowing?! Ha. There are not too many other sports outside of rowing that I watch, but I do like rugby and I did like watching the Lions tour to New Zealand and they did come away with a draw in the series with a lot of Irish players involved so I’ll go for that.
How do you usually spend New Year’s Eve? Last year it was in sunny Seville on our winter training camp so hopefully it will be the same this year. Hanging out with the girls and eating pizza was last year’s exciting activity!
If you could go for New Year’s Eve drinks with three sports people – local, national or international – who would you pick? CJ Stander for definite; I love his work ethic as well as his rugby talent! It’s hard to think of people from outside the rowing world but possibly Usain Bolt and Simone Biles as they’re top class in their sports.
What local sports star should we keep an eye on next year? Fintan and Jake McCarthy, they are brothers with Skibbereen Rowing Club. They’re improving every year and will definitely be ones to watch at the U23 world championships next summer.
Any advice to get over the January blues? From my experience it’ s going abroad and January is half over by the time we get home… but for those people staying here, drinking more water is an easy one after all the overeating and drinking at Christmas, etc.
Finish the sentence: In 2018 I want to …. smash my goals for the year!