2018 Newcastle/Gateshead Diary: Greg Rutherford's deep thoughts, an interview at Newcastle

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Greg.jpgGreg Rutherford's last LJ, photo by North News

This interview was done on 7 September 2018, the day before Greg Rutherford's final competition, where he took third in 7.38 meters. Greg Rutherford is one of our favorite athletes to interview. We wish him the very best in his new adventures.

Greg4.jpgGreg Rutherford's last LJ, photo by North News

Greg6.JPGGreg Rutherford's last LJ, photo by North News

Greg Rutherford's deep thoughts, 7 September 2018

" I've always been quite vocal in saying that the sport needs to branch out. This kind of event is perfect for people who don't get the chance to watch athletics in the stadium. There are people who've never watched athletics before who are just passing by. They stop, they watch, they enjoy it and they talk about it. And I think the sport needs more of that.

The sport of athletics is pretty much identical to what was 100 years ago - I know they're making some small changes to field events so we do need to be more inventive about it."

Greg7.jpgGreg Rutherford's last LJ, photo by North News

"I first jumped at the event in 2009. The sandpit was right next to the river so I thought that if things went badly I could always jump straight into the river! Nine years on with the body a bit broken I've just come to enjoy what is a fantastic event. I think it's a great place for me to end a half decent career. It's a great showcase for the sport but is also a lot of fun and athletes enjoy competing in City Games. And there is great interaction with the crowd.

Predominantly my body made the decision to retire for me. But, with two boys I do find it harder to leave home to compete. I love being a dad. Being a dad is the most important thing in the world for me. Forget all the accolades of my career, when the boys have grown up if they are happy with their childhood and we get on well that would be a great success for me. But it is a factor. Now I will be much more at home, not travelling and not having to worry about training. Now I can be a stay at home father while Suzie goes off and does the hard work, which will be a nice change.

But, the main reason is that my body has completely and utterly fallen apart for long jump, but it is what it is and I have accepted that which is, why I'm enjoying these final events instead of stressing about them.

I think having Saturday's competition mixed is a brilliant idea and will make it more interesting to watch. It's something we pitched a few years ago, even suggesting that you pair a man and a woman, and the distances together to add a new team dimension to it.

When I competed in the London Diamond League, it was so emotional because of all the memories that I have of that stadium. It was in London that my career took off and from there I was able to win more titles. In Birmingham, my body was letting me down and I had a hamstring issue which was very frustrating. I've not really thought how I will feel tomorrow on the runway for the last time. Whether I will get emotional about it, I don't know. I fear the people out there think it is really time for me to go."

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