Greg Rutherford makes official bobsleigh debut ahead of Beijing 2022

The 2012 Olympic long jump champion completed his first ever run in a bobsleigh training for GB's four-man squad: "I'm now a bobsled athlete!," he posted on social media.

By Ashlee Tulloch
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

London 2012 Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford can now call himself a bobsledder.

The 34-year-old Brit has made his first run in a bobsleigh while in Igls, Austria, training for February's Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Rutherford was named in Team GB's four-man national team in September after making the sport switch in a bid to become the first British Olympian to medal at both a summer and winter Olympics.

Sharing the milestone of his first run on Instagram, Rutherford showed marks on his lower back saying, "these are the pressure points from the sled. It feels like a hammer, but the pressure isn't released."

"I'm now a bobsled athlete!" - Greg Rutherford

A film crew were also on site to document his bobsled debut.

Rutherford's bobsled journey

In April 2021 Rutherford revealed he had been training with Team GB's national bobsleigh team, with the goal of medalling at Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

He said he was encouraged to give the sport a go by Canada's double Olympic Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries.

Since then he's proved the move is no publicity stunt and his impact in the team has already been felt.

Last month British bobsleigh pilot Lamin Deen said he was "gobsmacked" by Rutherford's aptitude for the sport.

"He's very powerful. The explosive power from the block is what we've been lacking and he'll definitely bring that. But he's also just so keen and full of energy that it rubs off on anyone. To have someone who had achieved so much, it inspires even the veterans." - Lamin Deen told Sky Sport.

After being named in Team GB's national squad, Rutherford said, “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,” he told the Guardian. “I am extremely confident we can qualify for Beijing and go on to achieve something very special.”

Rutherford already has three Summer Olympic Games under his belt - Beijing 2008, London 2012 - where he won gold - and Rio 2016, where he claimed bronze.

If he's successful in achieving his dream of winning a medal at Beijing 2022, he would become just the seventh Olympian to medal at both a summer and winter Games. Gold would mean he'd join Eddie Eagan and Gillis Grafström, who are the only two athletes that have clinched gold at both Games.

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