‘Life goes on all the same’: Olympic gold just another race for O’Donovan and McCarthy

Remarkable Skibbereen duo already looking ahead to Paris as they savour historic success

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan   celebrate their gold medal  victory in the Men’s Double Sculls at the   Sea Forest Waterway, Tokyo. Photograph: Steve McArthur/Inpho

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan celebrate their gold medal victory in the Men’s Double Sculls at the Sea Forest Waterway, Tokyo. Photograph: Steve McArthur/Inpho

Few of us can ever begin to imagine being stuck in this moment. Olympic champion, Olympic gold medal winner, immortal in your own event and a rare and lasting place in the reels of Irish sporting history.

Before Thursday morning down at Sea Forest Waterway, somewhere in the outer vastness that is Tokyo Bay, only six Irish people, four men and two woman, had ever experienced becoming an Olympic champion, Olympic gold medal winner, since the country was first allowed to compete for itself as the Free State in time for the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

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