Comment: Irish rowers’ gold brings joy but the Olympics are nothing without heartbreak

As Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy stake their place in the history books, it’s easy to forget the pain for those who don’t get to stand on the podium

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan pose with their medals after winning the Lightweight Men's Double Sculls Final A in Tokyo. Picture: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

I’m not an early riser but, even with the best laid plans, the Olympics tend to change that. On Wednesday morning, I woke at 2.30am unplanned. Clearly my body needed to know how our women’s four had done. Bronze for the rowers, a great result. Back to sleep.

This morning was slightly better, I woke at 3am but eschewed checking my phone. Then at 5am, my body clearly needed to know. Gold for the lightweight ...