Friday, 23 November 2012


From now on you can find me at - as always, I'm on Twitter @NRODTweets.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

New Start

It's been a while but I'm back - back blogging and back rowing. 

An up and down summer; the torture of running with the team right to the edge of the Games, knowing it would all end too early for me, followed by a great Olympic multi-medal performance by some of my closest friends.  I explored the world of work, met some great people and inspiring businesses. There were a couple of exciting opportunities which gave me a real dilemma - cut my losses and start 'real' life or throw the dice once more? 

Ultimately, I still have that Olympic dream.  I have one hesitation though, it has to work - I have to be performing, I have to prove to myself that four more years are a worth while endeavour.  The main marker will be the World Champs next summer, I need to be there and need to perform at a standard that inspires belief.

I thank all those that have spoken with me over the past couple of months, it's helped form my view and it's good to know other people care.  Most of all, thank you to all those that have shown their support - not just recently, but over the past few years.

Soon I will look to blog on my adventures over the past two months, for now you can follow me day to day on Twitter @nrodtweets (a new name but the same account - if you previously followed me you still will be!). 


PS - I will also be moving the blog to wordpress in the coming weeks, I will post details here when all ready.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Thank You

Thank you to all those that have sent messages of support, an amazing response to the blog post - not expected at all.

I'm currently in Aviz on the pre- Olympic holding camp. Weather is hot and the boats are really gearing up. For the Games. I will bring more updates to try and give a flavour of the final preparations camp.

Feel free to comment or ask questions. You can find me day to day on Twitter @nrod2012.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

End to the Dream

The Olympic kit that never was.

Two days ago Jurgen told me that I hadn't made the final cut and wouldn't be in the 2012 Olympic Team.

I feel a whole spectrum of emotions; grief, shame but also pride.  I grieve for what could have been and the failure to reach the goal I set myself on the 6th August 2006, the day I became Junior World Champion.  I feel shame for those that I have let down; the family, friends and supporters who have been there during what is a very public process.  Beyond those emotions I also feel pride; the journey hasn't been easy, just this season I've overcome a serious back injury and a lingering virus.  Consequently, back in February I took beta blockers to settle an irregular heart rhythm and I questioned whether it was all over then.  But I made it back, I took risks, I dug in and endured the pain.  I didn't want to let go of the dream and I dared to be.  As to the final decision, I cant agree with it and the lack of process hurt.

I would like to thank those that have been so supportive.  My family - immediate and extended; there are only 7 "Reilly-O'Donnells" in the world, remember that name and if you come across one, brace yourself.  My Granny is just outstanding, I have amazing aunts and uncles and my cousins (each with their own story) inspire me.  To my girlfriend Louise, she has stuck by me even when I'm being "lame" and is a huge support; elements of her life have had to go on hold too, thank you for being so understanding.  My friends have been so understanding, right from school, people knew what rowing meant to me and many since have given me the space to go after my dream.  I'm a proud Catholic, Fr Corbett and Fr Hayden have been pillars to both myself and my family, thank you so much.  Those that have financially helped me - Atos (in particular Amanda, Colleen, Nicola and the Threshold girls - Sinead, Kate and Penny), Berry Chiswick BMW and the County Durham Community Foundation.  I would like to give a special mention to the lovely people at the CDCF, they have been my longest standing backers - particularly John Elliott of Ebac, who is an unbelievable force of nature, thank you John.  My clubs - I've been a member of two boat clubs, my school (St Leonard's R.C. Comp. Durham) and now my university (University of London Boat Club).  Those places changed my life.  Thank you to the coaches who have helped me at every stage Malcolm, Bill, Peter, Jamie, Big Steff, Stu, Pete, Rusty, Dan C., Andy, Brian, Christian, John, Thrust, Paul, Shep and Jurgen you have all shaped me.  A shout out to all those that have supported me through my clubs and those that have aided me through medical support.  It is also worth thanking those that have offered me employment to help me cover the costs (and gain experience) to follow my dream thank you to Tyrian Club, Putney Town RC and most recently Telefonica UK (O2).  I have also been the recipient of a Lottery Funded UK Sport grant, it makes a serious difference thank you.

I will be running with the team until the eve of the Games.  The guys are a great group, each with their own stories, each with their own qwerks.  Over the past four years I have loved the spirit within the team, we are a real unit with a great sense of humour.  I know what each of them has done and they all deserve to succeed in front of a stunning home crowd.

As to my future, I am still to decide.  I have the desire to win at an Olympic Games, but I have to look to other options too.  Im a highly numerate law graduate seeking a new and exciting challenge, find me on LinkedIn or Twitter if you think I could make a difference.