Greg Rutherford takes on Jeff Henderson and Luvo Manyonga – Olympic and world champions respectively – on the Anniversary Video games Muller Anniversary Video games Venue: London Stadium Date: 21-22 July Protection: Stay protection on BBC One and BBC Two, with textual content commentary on the BBC Sport web site and app. Full particulars The 2018 version is a really totally different Greg Rutherford. In comparison with the Olympic gold medal winner, he’s six years older and several other kilos heavier, with a number of extra creases around the eyes, a lot extra creaks within the joints and decrease expectations in thoughts. He returns to London Stadium on Sunday for the Anniversary Video games searching for reminiscences moderately than medals. “I’m only a bit damaged,” the 31-year-old British lengthy jumper informed BBC Sport. “I’m not coming in to win as a result of I simply do not actually have that in my physique. I simply need to exit and revel in. “In 2012 the entire goal was to attempt to win the Olympic title. This time I’m going to attempt to give again to the group, take as many selfies as I can and signal as many autographs as I can.” Proper ankle, left ankle, groin, belly muscle groups, hamstrings – through the years, all have failed as Rutherford flung himself eight metres plus and to lengthy bounce titles at world, Olympic, Commonwealth and European ranges. It’ll take an amputation to repair his most up-to-date drawback. Thankfully, it’s only a hard appendix which stored him out of the British Championships earlier this summer time. The operation is booked for the tip of the yr, after his retirement from the game. Greg Rutherford beat American Mitchell Watt by 15cm to win gold on London 2012’s Tremendous SaturdayBarring a dramatic enchancment in his kind to pressure his method within the European Championship crew, the Anniversary Video games is Rutherford’s first cease on a farewell tour that can even soak up Birmingham’s Diamond League assembly and the Nice North CityGames in Newcastle. It won’t be goodbye to the general public eye, although. Two days after he clambers out of the pit for the ultimate time on Tyneside, he begins filming on a yet-to-be-revealed tv undertaking. It’s seamless transition at a life stage that many athletes discover to be extra like an elephant lure. Earlier this month, American Tianna Bartoletta, who received Olympic lengthy bounce gold at Rio 2016, revealed her personal stark scenario. “If I left the game as we speak, I would be leaving with six gold medals, three bronze medals and a world file – however I would even be leaving with barely a nickel to my identify to assist propel me to my ‘subsequent factor’,” she wrote on her weblog. Rutherford has been planning for his retirement since he was a young person. “The primary ever time I used to be interviewed by the BBC was as a European silver medallist in 2006,” he remembers. “I wished the interview to go properly as a result of I knew that tv and broadcasting was what I wished to get into. “I used to be berated after the Olympics for showing right here, there and in every single place – however I needed to. There have been 29 British gold medallists at London 2012. “I used to be astute sufficient to grasp that not lots of these have been going to turn out to be names that individuals bear in mind. “Jess Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah have been all the time going to be the superstars, I needed to cling onto their coat-tails as a lot as I may. “I had my second and I needed to capitalise to create a life for myself and my household.” Rutherford secures golden grand slamRutherford’s IMDB entry lists 30 tv credit, with solely London 2012 and Rio 2016 – listed as ‘mini-series’ – involving his day job of athletics. Appearances on Strictly Come Dancing, The Crystal Maze, Battlechefs, Time Crashers, The Dice, Celeb Juice, eight Out Of 10 Cats and plenty of, many extra have given him the mainstream recognition for which athletics itself has struggled in recent times. Final weekend’s Athletics World Cup on the London Stadium, final yr’s Nitro Athletics occasion in Australia and numerous city-centre avenue stunts have tried to seize new followers. However Rutherford thinks the issue begins on the high. “Athletics is an expert sport run by amateurs,” he provides. “You possibly can take most athletics competitions, present them to a fan from a century in the past and they might utterly recognise the game. We have to open up and alter. Every part is commercialised and athletics does not try this. “We have to take a look at different sports activities. If a sport like darts can turn out to be as thrilling and massive because it has, then we all know athletics can.” Permitting sponsors extra space on the game’s stars is one among his recommendations. The opportunity of Indian Premier League cricket-style metropolis franchises is one other. And in case you construct it, Rutherford believes that they may come. “Occasions like this weekend are unbelievable. We now have a discipline on par with any World or Olympic remaining,” he mentioned. “When folks see it in actual life, guys leaping out over eight metres, the sheer pace of the sprinters, the drama of the gap occasions – they perceive that our sport is absolutely, actually particular.” Rutherford was paired with Natalie Lowe on the 2016 collection of Strictly Come Dancing
Harry Smith is the Bestselling author of 6 novels. He lives in Manchester, England with “the wife,” “the kids,” “the dog,” “that cat,” and he occasionally wears pants.