Olympics-Rutherford's bobsleigh switch no publicity stunt, says pilot

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By Reuters
Olympics-Rutherford's bobsleigh switch no publicity stunt, says pilot
Olympics-Rutherford's bobsleigh switch no publicity stunt, says pilot   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p> – London Olympics long jump champion Greg Rutherford’s switch to bobsleigh is not a publicity stunt and the 34-year-old is making rapid progress in his bid to compete at next year’s Beijing Winter Games, British pilot Lamin Deen said.</p> <p>Rutherford, who retired from long jump competition in 2018 due to injury, secured a place on Britain’s bobsleigh squad last month as he looks to become the country’s first athlete to medal at both a Summer and Winter Olympics.</p> <p>Deen is poised to steer the sled at the 2022 Winter Olympics and said he was “gobsmacked” by Rutherford’s effort in training.</p> <p>“At first, I was doubtful in the timeframe that he could make it, not just physically but everything that comes with it,” Deen told British media.</p> <p>“Greg went to work with the coaches and within a week he’d learned how to perform in a two-man sled. I was gobsmacked! Usually, it takes four or five sessions. </p> <p>“First session he got it and just kept getting better. I thought, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen anything like it’. People thought it was a publicity stunt but it isn’t.”</p> <p>Rio bronze medallist Rutherford is looking to become the seventh athlete to medal at a Summer and Winter Games after Eddie Eagan, Jacob Tullin Thams, Christa Luding-Rothenburger, Clara Hughes, Lauryn Williams and Eddy Alvarez.</p> <p/> </div>