Having recently obtained an honours degree in physiotherapy, Skibbereen RC and Ireland rowing star Paul O’Donovan this week began life as a medicine student at UCC.
Twenty-four-year-old O’Donovan, who won a silver medal with his brother Gary at the Olympic Games in 2016, had been awarded a Quercus Scholarship from UCC – the college’s top sporting accolade.
Before he can properly settle into the course, though, O’Donovan is headed for Plovdiv in Bulgaria for the World Rowing Championships, which start on Sunday.
‘UCC and the Quercus programme have been extremely accommodating and my absence has been planned for well in advance,’ he said.
‘I am lucky that UCC recognises my love of rowing and my passion for medicine and will support me in balancing both.’
Paul will be joined by Gary in the men’s lightweight double sculls and the brothers are part of a nine-strong Skibb contingent in the Ireland squad.
Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan compete in the men’s pair while the McCarthy twins, Jake and Fintan, are part of the men’s lightweight four team.Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey will partner in the women’s lightweight double sculls, with Emily Hegarty joining Aifric Keogh in the women’s pair.