Here at Allianz, we regularly invite guest speakers to talk to staff about their experiences, to motivate and to inspire. As part of our Allianz Inspiration series of interviews, former Irish hurdler and 3 time Olympian Derval O'Rourke answers a few questions below.
A little bit about Derval
Derval O’Rourke is a former professional athlete who has held the title of World Champion in sprint hurdles and competed for Ireland in three Olympic Games. She has also picked up four European Championship medals and holds the Irish record for sprint hurdles.
After her third Olympics in London 2012 it was time for a break. Derval then decided to sign up to cookery school and says it was one of the best decisions she has ever made. She learned loads and even ran her fastest time in seven years a couple of months after cookery school! Derval blended both her passion for cooking and her experience on the track to write her No1 bestselling cookbook “Food for the Fast Lane”
In 2014 she decided to hang up her spikes for good after 12 amazing years competing at the highest level in world athletics. Derval now combines working in professional rugby for Irupa with Munster rugby and her food and fitness business with the launch of her 2nd cookbook “The Fit Foodie” which launches the 4th of August 2016.
What’s your favourite meal?
I love brunch. It’s a meal that I only have if I have lots of time. I like to eat toast with avocado and eggs plus a big cup of coffee and the newspapers-Heaven.
When you were a child what was your dream job?
I wanted to run in the Olympics!
If you could have one super power what would it be?
I’d like to have healing powers. Then I could heal whoever needed healing, I’d probably be very busy though!
Best moment of your sporting life/Business/Professional life?
My best sporting moment was winning world championships in 2006. My best business moment was achievening my masters in business management . My best professional moment was being a bestselling author.
Who do you look up to most?
Loads of people. In business I look up to people who work hard to get their dream business going for example Orla Kiely. In sport I admire achievement, I think what Sonia O’Sullivan achieved was incredible. In life I admire how much my husband loves our daughter, she is only 10 months old so it’s incredibe to see the two of them together.
Advise to your younger self?
Don’t take criticism so personally. Trust your instincts and you will be fine. You are more resilient than you realise!
Tell us about a time you dared to?
I pitched the idea of my cookery book to a publisher. It was when very few people were writing books about healthy eating. I had no “credibility” to be a food writer and it was very outside the box of what people knew me for. I really had to back myself and my vision for why I wanted to do it. I’m delighted now because it’s been the most succesful book for the publisher for the last two years.
What would you like to dare to do in the future?
I’d really like to expand my own business and grow a brand. But fortune favours the brave so watch this space!!!!!