Paul O’Donovan’s philosophical take on his Gold medal win is… something else
“In a million years from now we’ll have had a lot more gold medalists.”
Paul O’Donovan, the 27-year-old rower from Skibbereen and one half of Ireland’s Gold-winning duo at the 2020 Olympics, has given an extremely philosophical take on this morning’s win.
O’Donovan, the first Irish person to ever win both Gold and Silver at the Olympics, shared the triumph with his partner and fellow Cork man Fintan McCarthy.
But it’s O’Donovan’s reaction to the win that is especially funny, and no surprise, given he (and his brother Gary’s) penchant for giving idiosyncratic, hilarious and often downright weird interviews. Asked about how it feels to win a Gold medal, O’Donovan pointed out that in the grand scheme of the next million years, his own success may seem less significant.
“Not many people have won gold medals and this and that, that’s nice for headlines, that’s more a fact of being born early in the history of time,” he said, speaking to RTÉ’s Peter Collins after the race.
“In a million years from now we’ll have had a lot more gold medalists, I’m sure, in the Olympic games, so that’s nothing down to what we’ve actually done ourselves. We can’t take any credit for that, it’s just a bit of luck with being born when we were, more than anything.”
While O’Donovan’s remarks are interesting to ponder, it does seem like he may be doing the scale of his achievement a disservice – he and McCarthy are the first two Irish men to win gold at the Olympics since Michael Carruth in 1992.
But O’Donovan has both feet on the ground even still: “You hear people say it hasn’t sunk it yet. But from my experience, I won a medal at the last Olympics, I won one or two World Championships and stuff.
“It’s fine, like. You’re very happy winning obviously but at the end of the day you forget about it and get on with life.”
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to win a Gold medal at the Olympics, there you have it: it’s fine.