World of Sport

Rutherford swapping long jump for package delivery duties

World of Sport

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This week, Greg Rutherford will be focusing on sending out packages rather than jumping a long way

British long jumper Greg Rutherford just can't seem to get a decent break.

A few months after winning Olympic gold in his event at London 2012, he was effectively axed by long-term sponsor Nike after being asked to take a hefty wage cut.

Then, his rather-too-honest (if entirely understandable) reaction to not reaping the rewards of new-found fame and success only served to make him a laughing stock across the world of sport.

He then broke up with his girlfriend of eight years, Liz, with the pressures of being famous reportedly being to blame.

Then, last year, he picked up a terrible injury that looked like it might have spelt the end for the best days of his career.

He threw those fears off in fine style just last week, breaking the British record with a massive personal best of 8.51m in San Diego.

But even now, while the glow of that achievement should still be fresh, his career has taken yet another farcical turn as it emerged that he's going to spend most of his summer doing the donkey work of packaging up t-shirts and popping them in the post.

The reason? The 27-year-old has set up his own clothing range which finally goes live on Thursday - but he'll be stuck doing the kind of work that a minimum-wage temp would normally be handling.

"It's pretty stressful to be honest," Rutherford admitted to the Guardian.

"It's just going to be an online shop and basically I'll be processing, packing and sending it myself."

That's right: one of Britain's finest athletes is rolling up his sleeves to do the dirty work of his own mail order business.

"I'd never shy away from getting stuck in and, ultimately, if you want to be successful you have to do that," he says.

"Hopefully I won't be making too many mistakes – I don't want to be sending out extra larges when people want a small!"

Rutherford also told the paper that he was still hurting badly from his record leap even several days later.

"I was absolutely destroyed," he said.

"It takes a hell of a lot out of your body. It shuts down. I felt an achiness for three days, which was incredibly intense."

Not that he felt the pain at the time, of course. An athletics meet that started with him doubting his own ability and future ended in the best possible way.

"Even during the competition on Thursday, when I saw everyone jumping really far at the start, I questioned myself and wondered if I could do it after two fouls," he said.

"It was a worry. Then I managed to get a decent jump in before the record jump. And as soon as 8.51m came up, it was pure elation."

For a while after his achievement, however, it seemed as if the record jump might actually turn into another sour ending for Rutherford: rumours began spreading across the web that his jump would not count, either due to the fact that his event was not officially sanctioned, or perhaps because of YouTube footage suggesting that he might have gone over the edge of the board.

Neither of the two rumours turned out to be true, however. Not even Rutherford gets luck quite that bad.

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Greg Rutherford celebrates his gold at London 2012

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