Donegal Olympian Sinead Jennings has revealed memories from her teenage years that proved her incredible dedication to training.
When Sinead Jennings got her Leaving Certificate results, her ‘celebrations’ were rather different from her classmates.
The then-17-year-old from Hawthorn Heights came back from Loreto, Letterkenny with her results, chuffed with her marks and pondering her next move.
While her classmates were heading out on the tiles, Jennings’ ‘results night’ was spent recovering from a four-hour cycle!
The Letterkenny woman recalled the story in the first episode of Donegal Sports Talk – Donegal’s new, weekly podcast – after winning the Donegal Sports Star of the Year award for a record third time.
Last year, Jennings reached the Olympic Games and, alongside her partner, Claire Lambe, qualified for the final of the women’s double sculls.
The competitive edge was always instilled in the Jennings girls by their parents, Mick and Teresea. Sinead’s sister, Caitriona, ran the marathon in London at the 2012 Olympics.
“Mum always had us up at 6am, taking us out to Swilly Seals,” Sinead said. “Dad was always dragging out the bike.
“I remember the day of my Leaving Cert results, dad took me and Caitriona out for a cycle. We went up to An Grianan of Aileach and he took us around some scenic route after that.
“I was like, we’re nearly home’ and him there going, ‘yeah, nearly home’. Two hours later, I saw a sign: ‘Welcome to Derry’. I knew we had 20 miles to go.
“Four hours after we’d left, we were home and there was no celebration – Dad has always denied that was his intention!”
Donegal Sports Talk will air every Monday on Soundcloud.
Listen to the episode in full here: