Olympic champ Greg Rutherford encourages everyone to check for cancer after scare

The London 2012 long jump gold medallist has opened up about his stressful ordeal during the lockdown, and urges people not to avoid getting checked.

By Andrew Binner

“No one is invincible, so go and get checked.”

That is the message from London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford, after revealing his recent cancer scare.

The Brit opened up about his ordeal online. In a lengthy Instagram post he revealed that he found a lump on his testicles during the coronavirus lockdown, and that his mental health ‘took a bit of a beating when fear set in’.

But instead of seeking a medical opinion, or even telling his wife, the 33-year-old ‘created distractions like training again’ to help ignore the unusual sensations, and tried to use his ‘physical strength to overpower the unknown’.

After getting checked, Rutherford was told he had cysts - a build up of fluid - rather than cancer.

The 2015 long jump world champion spoke of how the ‘invincibility’ he felt as an athlete ‘took a massive knock’, before saying he now wants others, especially men, to ‘take it seriously’ if they feel something different on their body.

"Even now, during a pandemic, when I think it's safe to say we're fearful of wasting doctors' and nurses' time. If you're a bloke, grab them and make sure nothing's wrong," he wrote.

"I didn't tell Susie (his wife) or anyone close to me until the physical pain and worry got the better of me, then I reached out to a friend who'd suffered badly with testicular cancer.

"He said what I already knew... GO AND GET IT CHECKED!"

Rutherford’s message would no doubt resonate with USA Olympic beach volleyball player, and two-time cancer survivor, Jake Gibb.

The three-time Olympian had a malignant melanoma removed from his shoulder in 2002, before being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2010.

“It was devastating for me,” Gibb told Olympic Channel. “It put me in a state where I was very vulnerable.”

“As a professional athlete I felt like I could do anything… To have that come into my life, it really rocked me.”

The 44-year-old is hoping to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, where he would become the oldest beach volleyball player to compete at the Olympics.