Greg Rutherford starts push for Winter Olympics glory with bobsleigh training

Greg Rutherford has started his quest to become the first Great Britain athlete to win medals at the summer and winter Olympics.

The 34-year-old, who won long jump gold at the London Games in 2012, recently revealed he planned to take up bobsleigh.

Rutherford has targeted competing at the Beijing Games next February and trained with the British Bobsleigh team for the first time last week.

Coach Steve Smith, Alex Costa, Ciaron Beesley, Greg Rutherford, Tremayne Gilling, Ben Simons, Lamin Deen, Ashley Watson and coach and former Olympian John Herbert at Aldershot (Chris Bepatt)
Coach Steve Smith, Alex Costa, Ciaron Beesley, Greg Rutherford, Tremayne Gilling, Ben Simons, Lamin Deen, Ashley Watson and coach and former Olympian John Herbert at Aldershot (Chris Bepatt)

The meeting between the newly formed four-man squad took place at Grenadier Guards in Aldershot, ahead of plans to train on the ice later this month.

A sticking point for the group is a lack of funding, with bobsleigh not funded by UK Sport.

It means the squad have to use a reconditioned sled produced in 2005 from a 1991 frame, but with a fundraising target of £150,000 set, they remain hopeful of getting a new sled to boost their medal hopes for next year.

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Pilot Lamin Deen said: “It’s a classic and there are not many classic cars older than this bobsleigh.

“When we raced on it in the World Championships we came 12th, which goes to show that if we have the right sled then we can improve substantially on our time, putting us in the medal zone.”