An Irishman Abroad

Marcus O’Sullivan And The Unlikely Path To Athletic Greatness

October 2, 2021

What is the X factor? When everyone competing in an activity has talent, what is the extra bit that takes one person above and beyond? Irish athletics legend Marcus O'Sullivan might be one of the best qualified people in the world to unravel this. For almost a quarter of a century he has been the head track and field coach at Villanova University and in charge of spotting talented kids who might just have that extra something. He sits down with Jarlath to discuss his own incredible journey from making sails in Kinsale to electrifying the crowds at Madison Square Garden with his infamous final kick. 

Marcus discusses the importance of getting comfortable with failure, the philosophy of cheating, technological advances in athletics, the impact Donie Walsh's mentorship had on him, the Irish running boom and of course, his most astonishing achievement - 101 sub 4 minute mile races. This is a one of a kind in-depth conversation with one of the true unsung heroes and early influencers of Irish sport.

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Supplementary research provided by John Meagher.

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