Greg Rutherford says he is still determined to compete in the bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics and is eyeing Milan Cortina 2026 as his chance to finally take to the track.
Having already famously secured gold in the long jump at the 2012 summer Games in London, the Brit set about becoming a first British Summer and Winter Olympic champion after joining the Team GB bobsleigh team in 2021, with his sights firmly set on Beijing 2022.
However, the 35-year-old ultimately missed out on his dream after his team failed to achieve the qualifying standard of three top-12 World Cup finishes that season, which meant Rutherford would not be competing in Beijing.
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Undeterred, Rutherford told co-host Orla Chennaoui on the latest edition of The Breakdown that he still plans to "push himself" to take part in Italy come 2026. You can listen here.
“In just under four years’ time there'll be another winter Olympics,” he said. “I tried the bobsleigh with some relative success.
“The ultimate goal was, of course, to go to the Olympic Games in Beijing. It didn't happen for a number of reasons, but the possibility of potentially pushing myself to maybe go to one more Olympics - it’s still there a little bit.
“I've learned the skill of bobsleighing now. So it makes life a bit easier. I'm not desperately trying to understand the sport which I did in the nine months leading up to the Beijing Olympics.
“The team is changing a little bit. Lamin [Deen] will retire - our driver. Luke Dawes who was in there as well - he's now starting to drive. And Sam Blanchet as well – a fantastic athlete, great rugby background, great bobsledder as well. There's the spine of a team there potentially with me as well.”
As well as his Olympic gold, Rutherford is a Commonwealth Games champion and also has world and European titles to his name.
Despite injury causing him to hang up his spikes in 2018, the overwhelming desire to compete saw Rutherford back in training over the 2020 lockdown and in the physical shape to pursue his bobsleigh dream.
In 2021, he attended a Team GB training camp before being selected for the squad later in the year.
Although unsuccessful that time around, Rutherford says he is preparing for one final push for glory.
“I think I probably will [try and go to the Olympics],” he revealed. “I struggle with putting my family and friends through the stress that I do because there is a lot of stress that comes with being involved with sport. But there's also still this desire to just keep pushing myself.
“I think now, as I said, I know the skill. I can do it, and I did it well when I was doing it apart from the injuries, which hurt quite a lot.
“It gives me an opportunity to maybe push myself again. I know probably after the next Winter Olympics, the chance for me to do any more sports is probably over. I'd be too old. I'm already battered.
“So this was always the idea of when I came back into sport, use what's left in my body to see if I can make it in a sport one more time, and then sail off into the sunset in pain!”

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Injuries again played a part in Rutherford missing out in Beijing with neck and shoulder problems disrupting his training in the crucial final months ahead of the Games.
Naturally disappointed, Rutherford listed the myriad of factors that prevented him from a shot at history but refuses to dwell on them and hopes he has another chance in four years' time.
“I'm still processing that now to be totally honest,” he confessed. “The irony of the whole thing is, even if we did qualify for the Games, I wouldn't have been able to have gone because of my neck.
“So it would have been a massive double-edged sword of being so happy that my friends had made the Games but knowing that I wasn't there due to the fact that I had got injured.
“I believed I could make the Olympic Games – 100%. I believe I'm physically gifted enough to make the Olympic Games as a bobsledder - 100%.
“It just wasn't to be and there's multiple reasons. This is always the other thing as well, you're relying on other people, our team changed dramatically from the first competition through to the last.

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“I think if we had the team that we had at the end, plus maybe a couple of other guys as well, that would have been a solid team that would have made the Olympic Games. So that's also there as well.
“But I don't know, is it a failure? On one hand, yes, because the goal was to go to the Olympic Games. I told everybody I could make the Olympic Games, I didn't make the Olympic Games.
“So yes, I failed in one of the core aspects of the challenge. But what I did do in nine months from not being an athlete anymore, I became an athlete again. I made the British team. I competed on the World Cup circuit, the highest level below the World Championships in the Olympics.
“I was in the team. So I proved within nine months, I can go from a very unfit former athlete to being an international athlete again.”
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