Greg Rutherford, Olympic long jump champ, eyes Winter Games

Greg Rutherford
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Brit Greg Rutherford, the 2012 Olympic long jump champion who retired from track and field in 2018, is returning to sport as a bobsled push athlete, bidding to make the 2022 Olympics.

“I’m coming back, and I intend to make history,” Rutherford said, according to the Guardian. “I know most people believe it is impossible to go from never having attempted a sport to winning an Olympic medal in under a year. But I 100% disagree. I’m not doing this merely to turn up to finish 25th. I intend to train incredibly hard, get myself on to the team, and then win a medal. And if we get the right sled, and have the perfect run, anything is possible. Even gold.”

Rutherford retired from long jumping at age 31, citing injuries. He left having conquered every major event, following his “Super Saturday” Olympic gold in London with titles at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 European Championships and 2015 World Championships, plus a bronze in Rio.

His move into bobsled is the product of working out during lockdown and a nudge from Kaillie Humphries, a two-time Olympic bobsled champion for Canada who is bidding to make the U.S. Olympic team for 2022, according to the Guardian.

Humphries and Rutherford have each been coached by Arizona-based Stu McMillan.

If all goes well, Rutherford can become the latest convert from track and field to bobsled. Just last season, sprinters James Dasaolu and Joel Fearon were push athletes in British sleds at the world championships. Dasaolu and Fearon are two of 10 British men in history to break 10 seconds in the 100m.

Some of the most famous track and field athletes to make Olympic bobsled teams are Americans, including Lauryn Williams and Lolo Jones. In 2014, Williams became the fifth athlete to win Summer and Winter Games medals, less than a year after taking up bobsled.

Rutherford can become the sixth, though the British men had a top finish of 11th at the world championships in February.

The top British men’s sled at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games was 12th. A British four-man sled that originally finished fifth in 2014 was upgraded to bronze due to disqualifications of Russians for doping. That marked Great Britain’s lone bobsled medal finish since 1998.

Rutherford previously teased a move to bobsled or skeleton in 2014 but never competed.

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In a tie, Wendy Holdener puts to rest a remarkable stat in Alpine skiing


Swiss Wendy Holdener ended one of the most remarkable victory droughts in sports by tying for the win with Swede Anna Swenn Larsson in a World Cup slalom in Killington, Vermont, on Sunday.

Holdener, after 15 second-place finishes and 15 third-place finishes in her career, stood on the top step of a World Cup slalom podium for the first time. She shared it with Swenn Larsson, who had six World Cup slalom podiums before Sunday and also earned her first win.

They beat Austrian Katharina Truppe by .22 of a second combining times from two runs.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Holdener, 29, previously won three World Cups in other disciplines, plus two world championships in the combined and Olympic and world titles in the team event.

“To be tied first when I came into the finish was such a relief,” Holdener said while shoulder to shoulder with Swenn Larsson. “On the end, it’s perfect, because now we can share our first win together.”

Mikaela Shiffrin had the best first-run time but lost her lead midway through the second run and finished fifth. Shiffrin, who won the first two slaloms this season last weekend, was bidding for a 50th World Cup slalom victory and a sixth win in six slaloms in Killington.

“I fought. I think some spots I got a little bit off my timing, but I was pushing, and that’s slalom,” she said before turning her attention to Holdener and Swenn Larsson. “It’s a pretty special day, actually.”

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves next weekend to Lake Louise, Alberta, with two downhills and a super-G.

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Injured Ilia Malinin wins Grand Prix Finland, qualifies for Grand Prix Final

Ilia Malinin

Ilia Malinin, competing “a little bit injured” this week, still won Grand Prix Finland and goes into the Grand Prix Final in two weeks as the world’s top-ranked male singles skater.

Malinin, who was second after Friday’s short program, landed four clean quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate to overtake Frenchman Kevin Aymoz.

Malinin, who landed a quad flip in competition for the first time, according to, also attempted a quad Axel to open his program, but spun out of the landing and put his hand down on the ice.

Malinin also won his previous two starts this season in come-from-behind fashion. The 17-year-old world junior champion became the first skater to land a clean, fully rotated quad Axel in September, then did it again in October at Skate America, where he posted the world’s top overall score this season.

Next, Malinin can become the second-youngest man to win the Grand Prix Final after Russian Yevgeny Plushenko. His biggest competition is likely to be world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who like Malinin won both of his Grand Prix starts this fall. Malinin and Uno have not gone head-to-head this season.

Grand Prix Finland highlights air on NBC, and the NBC Sports app on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

FIGURE SKATING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Earlier, Japan’s Mai Mihara overtook world silver medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium to become the only woman to win both of her Grand Prix starts this season. Mihara prevailed by .23 of a point. The top three women this season by best total score are Japanese, led by a junior skater, 14-year-old Mao Shimada, who isn’t Olympic age-eligible until 2030.

Mihara and Hendrickx qualified for the Grand Prix Final, joining world champion Kaori Sakamoto and Rinka Watanabe, both of Japan, South Korean Yelim Kim and American Isabeau Levito, the world junior champion.

Italians Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini won both pairs’ programs and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara and Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier headline the Final. Both pairs won each of their Grand Prix starts earlier this fall. The Japanese have the world’s two best scores this season. The Americans are reigning world champions.

At least one Russian or Chinese pair made every Grand Prix Final podium — usually pairs from both countries — but neither nation competed in pairs this Grand Prix season. All Russian skaters are banned due to the war in Ukraine. China’s lone entry on the Grand Prix across all disciplines was an ice dance couple.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier improved on their world-leading score for this season in winning the ice dance by 17.03 points over Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker. Both couples qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the absence of all three Olympic medalists this fall.

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