Saturday, 1 June 2013

Athletics - Rutherford: 'Gold medals don't put food on the table'

Athlete Greg Rutherford holds his long jump gold medal during a parade as it passes St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London

Team GB gold medallist Greg Rutherford has talked about his disappointment at not being 'quids in' after his Olympic success.

The 26-year-old has been forced to bring out his own kit line, called 'GRavity', after failing to agree a new deal with sports giants Nike and has been supplementing his income with various appearances on television.

Memorable night: Rutherford celebrates with 10,000m winner Mo Farah (left)

Rutherford rose to national prominence on 'Super Saturday' at the Olympics when he secured Britain's first long jump gold since Lynn Davies in 1964 on the same night Jessica Ennis secured heptathlon glory and Mo Farah delighted the home fans with the first of his two golds.

"I thought I was quids in," Rutherford told the Daily Telegraph. "I was sitting there thinking, 'This is going to be brilliant. My Nike contract is up for renewal at the end of the year and I’m going to have all the other endorsements coming in'.

Leap of faith: Greg Rutherford won gold in the long jump

"All track and field athletes do the sport purely for the love of it, but people have to remember that you still have to earn a living. You can't do athletics if you don’t. So after winning the gold I was thinking: 'This will make everything easy. I won’t have to worry about finances and I can just concentrate on becoming the best athlete I can be’. But in reality it doesn’t work like that. Or it hasn’t in my case."

"(Nike) offered me a contract but the clauses were such that, by the end of this year, I would end up earning probably less than I would have done on my old junior contract, I would be completely tied to it and unable to do nothing else, as they would own all my image rights.

Golden moment: Rutherford was spurred on by the home crowd

"To sign a contract for a lower amount with horrible clauses, why would you do that? You're in a scenario where you have to say, 'I'm not prepared to accept that'."

Rutherford has admitted that people on Twitter have attacked him for spending so much time on television but he says that he is not doing it out of choice.

"I'm not poor. I’d be lying if I said I was," he told the Telegraph. "But if people believe that the reason I go on TV is because I love the sound of my own voice, that is completely and utterly wrong.

"Range Rover gave me a lease car that I can drive for free, which is amazing, and Omega gave me a watch.

"That's all fantastic and there have been some free clothes here and there, but ultimately it doesn't put food on the table, so you are in a scenario where you are forced to do promotions and appearances.

"But that creates a vicious circle because if you’re doing things like speaking events, you’re then taking away from your training."

Rutherford's career timeline prior to his stunning breakthrough has been a catalogue of injuries, setbacks and some podium places, although never top spot.

However, he shocked the world when he won gold thanks to a 8.31m leap at the Olympic stadium,

He's done it! Greg Rutherford celebrates his Olympic gold medal

Rutherford's main target this year is claiming World Championship gold in the long jump in Moscow in August, but earlier this month he admitted sprinting is something he’d like to attempt at some point too


  1. Lool.. #Gbam

  2. abi ooo.. tell dem. Endorsement is key

  3. lool.. Word of the day!.. bros speakin like an ibo man

  4. niceli said buh i can say it depends on ur geographical location.. olympic gold medal has put food on kirani james's table