Greg O’Shea: ‘I didn’t want to retire, but €18,000 a year is not sustainable’

'I could have made loads of money off the back of Love Island, but I had to come home and start training'
Greg O’Shea: ‘I didn’t want to retire, but €18,000 a year is not sustainable’

Greg O’Shea has launched his own fitness app - Bettr with Greg

When Greg O’Shea won Love Island in 2019, the Limerick man had a tough decision to make. He could give up his rugby career in order to make the most out of his new-found fame and the opportunities that were sure to come his way as a result, or he could return to Ireland to pursue his dream of competing in the Olympics.

To the disappointment of many (his Love Island beau Amber Gill surely top of that list), he chose to come home. That decision paid off when he represented Ireland in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics playing with the Rugby Sevens.

But a few weeks later, the 26-year-old announced his retirement from the sport.

“I actually didn’t want to retire,” he says. “But with the Sevens you only get paid €18,000 a year. It’s just not sustainable.”

Worrying about money is not something you might expect of a Love Island winner, but Greg says financial worries have kept him up at night.

“I’ve always worried about money,” he admits, “And I could have made loads of money off the back of Love Island, but I had to come home and start training for the Olympics.”

“I am definitely not rich. I’m not stuck for cash but the future isn’t sorted just yet.”

Greg O’Shea 
Greg O’Shea 

Part of that future is Greg’s new fitness app Bettr with Greg — a HIIT and Pilates subscription programme designed to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

“I’ve always been passionate about fitness,” he says. “My mother is a yoga teacher, my dad and grandad played rugby, my parents both ran for Ireland... it’s always been part of my life.”

Greg, who is a qualified Pilates and weight-loss coach, will lead multiple live workout classes per week as part of the service, which will offer a mix of bodyweight, dumbbell and kettlebell exercises plus Pilates and yoga classes.

“It’s a big responsibility for me because it’s live. That part of it has me nervous, but it’ll be fun.”

The Bettr with Greg app is available on iOS and Android now

What shape are you in?

Since I’ve retired, about six months ago, I’ve lost about 10kg. I’m probably the skinniest I’ve been since I was a teenager, just because I’m not training as much or on a full-time rugby programme.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I don’t eat sweets or snack. I don’t have sweets or chocolate or anything like that in the house.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Pizza. I’d say I have two pizzas a week. I can’t get away from Dominoes. Forge Pizza in Dundrum is also really good.

How do you relax?

I love going to the sauna. I’m a member of Eden One spa and health club in Ballsbridge. I like to go there and just sit by myself in the sauna. That helps me relax.

Who are your sporting heroes?

Kobe Bryant and Katie Taylor — she’s probably the best Irish athlete ever.

What is your favourite smell?

A bakery in the morning.

Picture: @gregoshea / Instagram
Picture: @gregoshea / Instagram

When is the last time you cried?

Early December.

What traits do you least like in others?

Rudeness and ill manners. I despise them.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I am an overthinker and a perfectionist. It drives me crazy. The positive side of things is I get a lot done, but I am always stressed.

Do you pray?

I don’t. I am more into manifestation.

What would cheer up your day?

Dogs. I don’t have one myself but any dog makes me instantly happy. And my little nephew and godson Tommy. He’s only one year old and he’s a bottle of joy.

Has climate change impacted how you live?

If I can walk, run or cycle somewhere instead of driving I try to do that. I do my little bit like everyone else.

What quote inspires you most and why?

I have a tattoo on my ribs I got in fifth year that reads: ‘You want something, go get it’. Basically, it means if you want something bad enough, you have to go after it and work for it. In fairness, it’s worked for me so far.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

As a holiday destination, Whistler in Canada for skiing but my favourite place to be in the world is with my family.

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