(Reuters) -Former Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford’s hopes of adding a winter Games medal to his London 2012 gold were dashed on Thursday after he failed to make the cut for Britain’s bobsleigh squad for Beijing.
Sprinter Montell Douglas, who competed at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, was selected however as brake in the two-woman bob piloted by Mica McNeill.
She will be the first female athlete to represent Britain at Summer and Winter Games in separate sports.
Rutherford, 35, made his international bobsleigh debut under pilot Lamin Deen at a World Cup race in Winterburg, Germany as part of a four-man team, finishing 17th out of 21.
Deen’s squad failed to achieve three top-12 finishes in the World Cup season, however, missing out on qualification for the Games.
Rutherford, who also won Olympic long jump bronze in Rio, was looking to become the seventh athlete to win a medal at a Summer and Winter Games after Eddie Eagan, Jacob Tullin Thams, Christa Luding-Rothenburger, Clara Hughes, Lauryn Williams and Eddy Alvarez.
Douglas, 35, reached the final of the 4x100m relay at Beijing 2008 and took up bobsleigh in 2016.
“I’m over the moon to be representing women. There have been many male summer and winter Olympians, so I’m more thrilled about leaving a legacy like that behind than anything else,” she told the BBC.
“To come full circle, after 14 years and at the end of my career, that blows my mind. You’re never too old, it’s never too late, you should always dream and dream big.”
The only other woman to compete for Britain in Winter and Summer Games was Ethel Muckelt in figure skating, which featured in the Summer Olympics in 1908 and 1920 and then the Winter Games from 1924.
Brad Hall will lead Britain’s only four-man bobsleigh team at the Games, where they will be strong contenders to win a medal, coming off the back of a World Cup season that saw them claim three podiums and place fourth in the overall standings.
The Beijing Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 4.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru/Alan Baldwin; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Toby Chopra)