Ireland Men’s Sevens Star Jack Kelly sees the Olympics as the height of professional sports and is excited to become an Olympian with the rest of the national sevens side.
Kelly says the team is absolutely delighted to take part in the Men’s Sevens tournament in Tokyo this summer.
The 23-year-old believes the Olympics are like nothing else and said before leaving for Japan that the feeling of competing at one is still sinking in.
“[There was] a lot of months and weeks during lockdown where not much was going on and now everything’s happening at a hundred miles an hour. It’s a very exciting time for us,” said Kelly.
The side worked hard since losing out on the first European spot in 2019 and the collective goal that they shared helped them to stay focused throughout the pandemic.
The chemistry they honed for several years and hard work since their loss in Colomiers came together in June when they dismantled France in Monaco to book their tickets to Tokyo.
Kelly felt that these factors played a big part in their historic victory at the Stade Louis II Stadium.
Their celebrations were muted because of the coronavirus but the team were able to share some drinks on their hotel floor that night to commemorate the occasion.
“I think we’re quite a close squad…it was definitely a great moment and I think the fact that we couldn’t actually go out and we did just stay together was better for us because it made it all that bit more special.”
The strong chemistry that the side has will be important when there’s downtime, where they will keep each other company and respect each other’s privacy at different times – for example, when Jack wants to read or watch one of his downloaded Netflix movies.
The lads in the squad have also been contemplating getting the famous Olympic tattoo as a way to remember their achievement this year.
“I think, in terms of tattoos, it’s probably one of the more ok ones, you know, one of the ones that my parents wouldn’t be too angry at.”
However, their focus lies on their opening games on Monday, July 26th, when they will face South Africa and the USA.
Kenya is also part of their pool at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The St Michaels graduate believes that Ireland can beat both sides, as they have done before, provided they put the work in during the game.
Kelly does not feel like they have weapons that Anthony Eddy’s Ireland will not be able to deal with and that, with focus, they can impose dominance with weapons of their own, such as Jordan Conroy.
“We know that we’ve got a job to do when we’re out there.”
Click here to see the scheduled times for the Ireland Sevens’ first two games.