Olympian David Gillick is the Irish 400m indoor and outdoor record holder and two time 400m European Champion who has dedicated a huge portion of his life to his sport on the running track, representing club and country on the world stage.
His sporting career as an elite athlete saw him make history when he won Ireland’s first sprint Gold Medal in 76 years at the 2005 European Indoor Championships. He retained that title in 2007 and in 2008 he fulfilled his dream of becoming an Olympian. The following year he competed at the Berlin World Championships finishing 6th in the 400m final, fulfilling another significant goal he had set himself in sport. His successful athletics career was speckled with some disappointment and injury along the way and, when you consider the minute margins between winning a race and not winning over 400m you can only imagine the intense pressure cooker within which athletes at this level perform.
Wrapping up his career as an elite athlete in 2013, David moved from the bubble of his life as a full time athlete with all the structure, routine and training that his life involved, into the ‘real world’ and struggled to come to terms with his life beyond sport. He has openly shared his struggles with his mental health and the importance of getting back to sport for him and back to running, to what he really loves. This October he will take on his second marathon at the Irish Life Dublin City Marathon.
Winner of Celebrity Masterchef and one of three finalists in RTE’s Ultimate Hell Week, the father of three is a two time best selling author who is passionate about sport, food, promoting a healthy body and mind and has become a vocal advocate on mental health.
This chat with David is both insightful and enjoyable as he provides a glimpse into his life in the world of sports and beyond.