Paul O'Donovan gets his hands on an Olympic gold medal for the second time

July 29th, 2021 4:13 AM

By Kieran McCarthy

Gary (left) and Paul O'Donovan with their dad Teddy (far right) pictured with Great Britain Olympic gold medallist rower Fred Scarlett when he visited Skibbereen Rowing Club in October 2002. (Photo: Arthur Little)

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PAUL O’Donovan got his hands on the medal he wanted in the early hours of Thursday morning when, alongside Fintan McCarthy, he won gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games – but this isn’t the first time the Skibb rower has held an Olympic gold medal.

Thanks to the brilliant main photo on this page, courtesy of Arthur Little, we can show you the day when Paul, just eight years old, had an Olympic gold medal draped around his neck.

Paul’s recollections of the day Great British rower Fred Scarlett visited Skibbereen Rowing Club are foggy. It was October 2002, a long time ago and a lot has happened since.

‘I do remember this day when we were very excited about a British rower coming to the rowing club, but I don’t actually remember holding any medal,’ Paul says – but we have the evidence that shows Paul, kitted out in a white Umbro Republic of Ireland polo shirt and matching shorts, with a gold medal draped around his neck. Gary was there, too.

Scarlett won that gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney as part of the victorious Great Britain eight. He called to the club in Skibb as a favour, and Teddy O’Donovan, Paul and Gary’s dad, has always felt that moment resonated with his boys.

Now, 19 years on, Paul has his very own Olympic gold medal that’s all his.

  • Thanks again to Arthur Little for this incredible photo

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