THEY are the talk of Skibbereen, West Cork, the entire country and beyond today after winning a brilliant gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, so let’s get to know Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy a little bit better.
The Lisheen man (27) is the greatest lightweight rower in the world. He is a phenom, the best rower Ireland has ever produced, and now he is an Olympic champion. Currently studying medicine at UCC, on the water he has etched his name in the pantheon of Irish sporting legends. He is a 2020 Olympic gold medallist alongside Fintan McCarthy, and in 2016 Paul and his brother Gary won Ireland’s first Olympic rowing medal at the Rio Games. He is a four-time World champion (2016 to 2019) and in two boats, the lightweight single and the double. Paul has also won two European golds (2016 and 2021) and two silvers (2017 and 2018). The Skibb man is a medal machine, the best we have ever seen. And now he has the gold medal he wanted.
When Paul and Gary won Olympic silver in 2016, Fintan was 19 years old and watched the A final in Rio unfold from Skibbereen. Five years on Fintan is an Olympic gold medallist. Armed with a degree in physiology from UCC, the 24-year-old has quickly amassed an incredible collection of rowing medals since he won his seat in the Irish lightweight men’s double in 2019. Fintan is a World champion (2019), European champion (2021) and now an Olympic gold medallist. He also won European bronze in the single sculls in 2020 so has proved he can shine on his own, too.