GREG Rutherford’s emergence as a genuine medal prospect for London 2012 proves what can be achieved through sheer determination and commitment.
The 25-year-old was an unlikely Olympian in his early teens when he tried to pursue a career in professional football, even having trials with Premier League side Aston Villa.
But Rutherford fell out of love with football, and although he couldn’t have known it then, a chance trip to his local athletics club would be the start of his incredible journey to potential Olympic glory.
As Britain’s number one long jumper and equal record holder, Rutherford is considered to be one of Team GB’s best chances to win track and field gold in the Olympic Stadium in Stratford come late August.
The former Denbigh School student is no stranger to the big stage, having travelled to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics four years ago.
That occasion didn’t go to plan as Rutherford eventually finished 10th.
But his form this season has put the Marshall Milton Keynes AC man on another level – indeed his jump of 8.35m is currently the longest in the world this year.
And he took that form into the Olympic Trials in Birmingham at the end of June, when he cruised to a fourth UK title without getting close to his season’s and personal best.
In fact, as an indicator of the high standards he now sets himself, Rutherford admitted to being disappointed with his 8.17m best effort that saw him win gold at the Alexander Stadium.
Now the stage is set for the once skinny ginger kid from Bletchley to reach the very top of his profession. If gold medals were awarded for sacrifice, determination and sheer will to win, then Rutherford would already be a British Olympic hero. As it is, he’ll have to settle for glory in London, and the future stardom that will undoubtedly follow.
THE following is a list of reasons why kids should get plenty of exercise if they want to keep healthy:
Children who exercise are more likely to keep exercising as an adult.
Exercise helps children achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Regular physical activity helps build and maintain strong, healthy muscles, bones and joints.
Exercise aids in the development of important interpersonal skills—this is especially true for participation in team sports.
Exercise improves the quantity and quality of sleep.
Research shows that exercise promotes improved school attendance and enhances academic performance.
Kids who exercise have greater self-esteem and better self-images.
How red-hot Greg kicked football into touch and jumped feet first into glory
Exercise is good for you!