10 stars who switched careers as long jumper Rutherford opts for bobsleigh

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Long jumper Greg Rutherford is bidding for further Olympic glory – as a member of Great Britain’s BOBSLEIGH squad.

It’s a surprise move for the star, who won gold at London 2012 – especially as he’s not had a single run down an ice track, instead training on a dry track in Bath.

But pilot Lamin Deen reckons Rutherford has done enough for a place on his team as they head to the Winter Games in February, adding he’s “gobsmacked” at the athlete’s progress.

Deen said: "We sent Greg down to work with the coaches and within a week he had learned how to perform in a two-man sled.

"When I saw the footage I was gobsmacked – usually it takes four or five sessions, but he grasped it in the first session and he just kept getting better.

"We took him down to Bath to see how he'd get on with the four-man, and within one session he was blasting it off and jumping on the side and I thought 'wow, I've never seen anything like it'."

Here NADINE LINGE looks at 10 other athletes who switched sports – with mixed results.

Petr Cech

Football to ice hockey

The former Chelsea goalkeeper moved onto the ice in 2019, joining Guildford Phoenix as a goaltender and nabbing man of the match on his debut. He also works as technical and performance adviser at Chelsea.

Victoria Pendleton

Cycling to horseracing

As a track cyclist, Queen Vic won two Olympic golds and a silver before retiring in 2012. In 2015 she announced her intention to become a jockey, right, and compete at the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham the following year – she came an impressive fifth.

Michael Jordan

Basketball to baseball to basketball

Jordan threw a curveball in 1993 when he announced his retirement from basketball – and then signed for baseball team the Chicago White Sox. It proved a short switch and he soon returned to basketball.

Freddie Flintoff

Cricket to boxing

Retiring from cricket in 2010, Flintoff gave boxing a go. But it only lasted a single four-round fight which he won on points.

He later said: “It was the sparring I hated. I used to go in the gym every day and just get beaten up.”

Usain Bolt

Athletics to football

The legendary sprinter quit the track to move into football in 2017.

He had a trial with an Aussie football club but left after eight weeks without a contract putting paid to his childhood dream of playing for Manchester United.

Sir Chris Hoy

Cycling to motorsport

One of Britain’s great Olympians, Hoy has competed in a number of motorsport events since retiring from top-level cycling in 2013, including the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Dwain Chambers

Athletics to American football to rugby league

In the wake of a doping ban, the British sprinter joined American football side Hamburg Sea Devils in 2007, before getting injured and being released.

He then joined rugby league Castleford Tigers on trial but failed to secure a contract.

Sir Ian Botham

Football to cricket

Prior to his success with cricket, “Beefy” played for Scunthorpe United before making his Test debut in 1977.

Dame Sarah Storey

Swimming to cycling

Storey began her sporting career as a swimmer, winning a clutch of Olympic medals. But after ear problems, she switched to cycling.

Now after triumphing at the summer Paralympics, she’s our greatest Paralympian of all time.

Paolo Maldini

Football to tennis

Considered one of the greatest defenders of all time, the Italian maestro spent 25 years with AC Milan.

Switching to tennis in 2017, he was beaten in just 42 minutes when he made his professional debut.

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