Paul and Gary O'Donovan insist they were "just being themselves" during interviews in Rio

The pair were back in their native Skibbereen together for the first time since winning silver at the Olympic Games

BY Cian Roche 17:07 Monday 29 August 2016, 17:07 29 Aug 2016

Image: ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Irish Olympic stars Paul and Gary O'Donovan returned home to their native Skibbereen last night for the first time since winning a silver medal in Rio.

The pair picked up a medal in the men's lightweight double sculls and were greeted with a heroes welcome to Cork Airport, with people from around the county and country flocking to see the now-famous brothers.

Speaking to media today, the pair continued to charm and said that their post-race interviews (which were seen around the world) was just the pair being themselves.

"Tis a complete shock to be honest," said Paul, who followed up his silver medal in the Olympics with gold in the World Rowing Championships on Saturday morning in Rotterdam.

"We were just talking sh*te and being ourselves to be honest." Brother Gary interjected: "Answering questions and rowing fast", before Paul added: "It kind of escalated quickly and got out of hand but sure what harm. It's all good for the community and the sport and the community down here. 

"It's a reflection of what it's been like the last few years for us and that's why we've been so happy. There's such a good atmosphere here and we just kept it going with us through life." 

The pair were then asked what message they would give to those responsible for funding rowing in Ireland.

"The way I see it is that everything we've done has been to represent our club," said Gary. "We're not just fools around the place in front of cameras. We're like this everyday. We come in here and have fun with the youngsters. Everything we've done at the Olympics and before that is what we do everyday in here.

"We want to try and make it fun for the youngsters coming in and hopefully we get more people in because I think it's such a great sport that they'll all enjoy that as well."

Paul also clarified what exactly "podium pants" were.

"They're long pants. You see, with the rowing at the World Championships, you get out of the boat straightaway and you wear you're racing suit when you get your medal. In the Olympics you have all this different criteria. They gave us these special podium pants.

"Morton hands out our gear and he hands out our racing stuff and to motivate you he says 'this is the podium suit'."

Gary continued: "So you get three racing suits at the start of the year and he says 'here's your two racing ones and here's your podium one'."


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