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"I'm creating history for Ireland"- The Rhys McClenaghan Interview

Rhys McClenaghan already has a host of achievements under his belt. The artistic gymnast became I...

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

18:00 24 Apr 2019



Videos

"I'm creating history for Ireland"- The Rhys McClenaghan Interview

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

18:00 24 Apr 2019

Rhys McClenaghan already has a host of achievements under his belt.

The artistic gymnast became Ireland's first ever European Champion at Glasgow 2018. That was part of a stellar year when he also won gold on the pommel horse at the 2018 Commenwealth Games for Northern Ireland.

At just 19, there are plenty more medals around the corner.

Today, Richie McCormack had the pleasure of his company as McClenaghan discussed his career so far.

The Newtownards native is keen to learn from those who have come before him.

"Anybody who has been through the experiences that I haven't, I want to learn from them and pick their brains as much as possible," he said.

Making History

"That's one of my main life goals is to just learn as much as possible."

McClenaghan is also clear about the place he now occupies in Irish gymnastics.

"Pretty much every competition I'm going to, I'm creating history for Ireland which is a very nice feeling," he said.

"Even at World Championships, when it didn't go my way... when has a gymnast ever gone into a competition with that much expectation on themselves.

"I don't think it's ever happened before. So it means a lot to me and it almost justifies why I'm doing this sport.

"Because I feel like I'm creating a pathway for the younger generation. I want them to beat me in any way possible. I want them to surpass my achievements hugely.

"So I'm excited to see what the grassroots are stirring up and hopefully creating for the future."

As a Northern Irish athlete, McClenaghan also touched on identity and representation.

"I think it's very important just for everybody, no matter what nationality you are or where you stand or any religious thoughts or views, I just think it's important to work together," he said.

"We're all human. There's nothing that separates us from the fact that we're all human.

"And I don't see why there's any reason why we can't work together in perfect harmony."

You can watch the full interview above via our YouTube channel.

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Commonwealth Games European Championships Gymnastics Ireland Off The Ball Rhys McClenaghan Sport

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