"Calculated And Devious" - Kenneth Egan's Binges Were Out Of Control Prior To Winning Olympic Silver

"Calculated And Devious" - Kenneth Egan's Binges Were Out Of Control Prior To Winning Olympic Silver

Kenneth Egan became an Irish sporting star almost 10 years ago when he won a silver medal in the Light Heavyweight category at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

So much so that in November 2008 a DVD was released titled, 'Kenny Egan - Back from Beijing,' which chronicled his journey to the silver medal he won in Beijing.

However it was relatively unknown that before the Olympics in 2008, Egan was an alcoholic. He was speaking to Ray D'Arcy this afternoon on RTE Radio One about his issues with alcohol at that particular time in his life.

When you're in the midst of addiction you can be very calculated and devious. I'd have my calendar mapped out for six months of the year, when I was training, when I wasn't. When I could drink, when I couldn't. The problem with me was, I was a binge drinker.

The binges got longer and the days between camps got shorter, so I was getting closer to training camps thinking I was okay, I will get another day in of drinking and get and I was really cutting it tight and eventually it caught up with me.

What is astonishing about his deviousness was that all of this was occurring two months before the Olympics in Beijing, yet he still managed to come home with a silver medal draped around his neck.

Egan has been sober for almost a decade, initially he found it extremely tough to resist alcohol because of the sheer volume of advertisements that were on TV about it and gambling.


Not now it is not. When I did come off it initially the ads on TV, the alcohol ads and obviously there is gambling ads as well but they were like jumping out at me and I thought it was a wind up because they were so prevalent and they were so in your face. It doesn't affect me now and I can go to a pub for an event and I can leave when I want to.

I don't need alcohol to function, I don't need alcohol to enjoy myself. Now don't get me wrong, I do think of it the odd time, jumping into the car going down the country booking into a B & B and going mad for a week but that is just me and I am aware of it and once I'm aware of it, it gives me choices. I know if I touch that first drink, fast forward 10 days to see what state I'd be in and I know I will have lost everything, the child, the wife and the house is gone. That is the power of it.

Watch his full interview with Ray D'Arcy below:

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James Carroll

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