Gary and Paul O’Donovan shot to national prominence when they won silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Ireland’s first rowing medal at an Olympic Games. In a hotly contested field, the brothers from Aghadown in West Cork were denied victory in the lightweight double sculls by the narrowest of margins. They had nevertheless won the hearts of the nation for their sheer determination, humility and sense of humour
Since their sudden rise to fame, the brothers have continued their fine rowing form whilst juggling their academic and commercial commitments. At the European Championships in Prague in May 2017, they added a silver medal to a growing trophy cabinet, which includes the RTÉ Sports Team of the Year Award for 2016 and a litany of other accolades.