Kellie Harrington says she will not go ‘chasing money’ as she plots next move

olympics
Kellie Harrington Says She Will Not Go ‘Chasing Money’ As She Plots Next Move Kellie Harrington Says She Will Not Go ‘Chasing Money’ As She Plots Next Move
Team Ireland Homecoming – Tokyo 2020, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By James Ward, PA

Irish Olympic hero Kellie Harrington has insisted she will not go chasing money as she weighs up the next move in her career.

The Tokyo gold medal winning boxer could face a choice between a lucrative professional career or competing at the next Olympics, saying on her return to Dublin it was “Paris or pro”.

But the Portland Row native, who returned to a hero’s welcome last week, has yet to make that decision – and said money will not be the only factor in her choice.

 

She said: “Everyone is saying ‘Oh, you’re going to make this and you’re going to make that.’ But to me, money is not everything, you know?

“It doesn’t really matter to me. I’m happy enough the way I am. People say ‘your life is going to change’.

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“Well, my life doesn’t need to change. I’m very happy with the way my life is.”

“If money comes my way, good and well. I’m not going chasing it. I’m very, very happy. I’m very comfortable. If it comes my way I’d be happy taking it alright, course, who wouldn’t?” she added.

“But there’s more to life than money and there is more to life than sport.”

'I really don't know'

Harrington grabbed victory over Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira by a unanimous points decision in the lightweight boxing final to become only the second Irish female boxer to win an Olympic medal after Katie Taylor’s gold in London 2012.

Her performance during the Olympics has turned the 31-year-old hospital cleaner into a star in Ireland, with her success marking the first time Ireland has won golds in two different sports at the same Olympics.

Speaking on RTÉ’s the Ray D’Arcy show on Monday, she said she would consult with her coaches before taking any decision on her future.

She said: “I really don’t know yet what I’m going to do.”

Kellie Harrington and Emmet Brennan during an open top bus parade in Dublin, as the last of the Irish Olympic athletes return from Tokyo (Damian Storan/PA)

But with talk of money-spinning offers on the table, Harrington has not totally ruled out going down the professional route.

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She said: “A lot can be done in three years (before the next Olympics), so we just have to wait and see.

“Financially, I don’t know. People are saying, you’re going to get this and get that. I’ve always said if I get a good offer to turn professional I would.

“But like I always say, you can have all the money in the world and be unhappy. So we’ll just have to wait and see.”

“But I’m 100 per cent sure whatever the decision is, it will be the correct decision for me and for my family and for (my partner) Mandy.”

Harrington has said her proudest achievement was not her gold medal victory in Tokyo, but lifting the spirits of the nation.

Kellie Harrington at Dublin Airport (Damian Storan/PA)

She said: “Who gets to feel that? Who gets to feel the joy of a nation, the happiness?

“Who gets to see the tears coming down people’s faces, tears of joy and happiness that they’ve experienced this, and hugging each other.

“Throughout everything that we’ve been through as a country, as a world… the whole world over the last two years, to see everybody come together over the two weeks out there… celebrating me, celebrating women, celebrating life was just amazing.

“I’m not joking. The gold medals are great, but this is even better.”

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