Rutherford dreaming of Winter Olympics gold after being named in GB bobsleigh squad

By Sports Desk September 29, 2021

Greg Rutherford is dreaming of becoming the first athlete in almost 100 years to win gold at both the Summer and Winter Games after being named in Great Britain's bobsleigh squad ahead of Beijing 2022.

The 34-year-old won gold for Britain in the long jump event on home soil at London 2012 and followed that up with a bronze in Rio four years later.

Rutherford announced his retirement from athletics in July 2018 and started training in the bobsleigh five months ago.

He has now confirmed that he made the cut for GB's five-man squad that will now attempt to qualify for the upcoming Winter Games, which takes place in February 2022.

"A massive milestone has been hit in my bobsleigh journey," Rutherford posted on Instagram. "A few weeks ago we had our trials and I managed to qualify for the British team to compete this winter!

"The team now has to qualify for the Olympic Games by placing well on the World Cup circuit (as does every team).

"This has been a huge undertaking, going from a very retired former athlete, to retraining in a new sport and qualifying for the team. A massive thank you to everyone who's helped thus far.

"We start competing in a couple of months' time with the medal dream very much alive."

Only six British athletes have ever contested at both the Summer and Winter Games, most recently former sprinter and bobsledder Allyn Condon in 2000. None of them have won medals at either event.

Rutherford told the Guardian: "There were a few doubters when I said I wanted to make the Winter Olympics in April, but I always back and believe in myself, and I am absolutely delighted to have been selected.

"I am extremely confident we can qualify for Beijing and go on to achieve something very special."

There have been just six previous examples of athletes from any country winning medals at both the Summer and Winter Games.

Eddie Eagan (in 1920 and 1932) and Gillis Grafstrom (in 1920 and both 1924 and 1928) set the benchmark for Rutherford by taking gold at both, although the latter competed in the same sport – figure skating – on each occasion.

Eagen built on his light-heavyweight boxing triumph in the four-man bobsled.

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