Greg Rutherford’s bid to compete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing have hit a setback after he suffered an injury.
The London 2012 long jump gold medallist has made the ambitious move to switch disciplines and hopes to be part of the British bobsleigh team at the upcoming Winter Games.
However, the 35-year-old has revealed he has suffered an injury to his right shoulder but remains optimistic about his chances of heading to China in 2022.
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“It’s not over,” said Rutherford, who will star in a new discovery+ documentary charting his bid to create a slice of Olympic history.
“It’s not as bad as we potentially thought. But there are some issues.
"It looks like I have fractured my shoulder so something has given way.
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Bobsleigh test run in Innsbruck
Image credit: Eurosport
“The way the doctor was explaining it is that there has been an issue for quite a long time.
“You could see what is known as the AC joint absolutely blown up with inflammation.”
Rutherford, aiming to become the first British athlete to win medals in both the Summer and Winter Games, has gone through a rigorous physical training programme to make the team, and made his first official run with the team in Ingls, Austria recently.
The former track and field star, who also won long jump bronze at Rio 2016, admitted he will need injections but is bullish about his return.
Greg Rutherford, Innsbruck
Image credit: Eurosport
“I’m in a situation now where I won’t be able to compete for a few weeks,” he added. “I’m going to have to be adaptive with training.
“I need an injection to try and calm down some of the inflammation.
“Going forward, I’m going to need an injection before every competition of anaesthetic to take edge of the fact there is a broken bone in my shoulder.
“Speaking to the doctor, he’s happy that it’s not the end of the world, he’s comfortable trying to get on top of it. It’s not one of those really intricate parts where things can go wrong.
“It’s now a case of having an injection and letting it rest and recover as much as possible, build the training back up, head back out to the slopes, and start sliding down those incredible tracks again ASAP.”
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Only one athlete, American Eddie Eagan, has won gold at both an Olympic Summer and Winter Games, having claimed victory as a light-heavyweight boxer in Antwerp in 1920 before claiming victory in the four-man bobsleigh at Lake Placid in 1932.
Can Rutherford – a Summer Olympian-turned-media pundit-turned Winter Olympian hopeful – repeat history 90 years later?
The full, as yet titled, documentary will be available to watch on discovery+ in early 2022 with further details to be released at a later date.
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