Ireland's champion rowers return to heroes' welcome at Olympic Village
Ireland’s Olympic champion rowers were given a heroes’ welcome by their team-mates upon their return to the Olympic Village.
Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy triumphed in the lightweight double sculls in Tokyo, securing Ireland’s first ever Olympic gold in rowing.
After their medal ceremony they were greeted by a throng of supporters who had congregated with flags at their accommodation in Tokyo.
“I asked someone and they said they were waiting for the rowers who won gold – I thought that was really cool,” sports writer Gary Lemke told the PA news agency.
“Then I saw them across the road coming past the dining hall, so I started filming a video and the Irish were singing ‘Ole! Ole! Ole!’ and clapping, which was great.
“I just thought that this from the Irish team was a wonderful gesture.”
Meanwhile, the pair from Skibbereen in Co Cork are sure to arrive home to an even bigger reception – their gold is Ireland’s first since boxer Katie Taylor won at London 2012.
“The buzz around Skibbereen is amazing,” said Skibbereen Rowing Club secretary TJ Ryan.
“The town is alive.”