Kadeena Cox asks for understanding after decision to compete in The Jump

Published: Wednesday 4th January 2017 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

“Ticking time bomb” Kadeena Cox has defended her decision to compete on a reality TV show, insisting she is looking forward to the experience.

The 25-year-old Paralympic champion from Leeds, who has multiple sclerosis, shed light on her decision to appear on The Jump on the day it was confirmed her elite UK Sport funding would be withdrawn during her stint on the show.

Cox tweeted: “B4 judging my decisions ppl should imagine living life as a ticking time bomb. MS has changed my outlook on life, so I’m gonna enjoy skiing.”

Cox had a stroke aged 23 which led to her being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a progressive illness which could become more debilitating over time.

The reason she competed in two sports in Rio was because she knew she might not get the chance to compete at all in Tokyo. And she knows all her targets depend on her MS.

Cox became the first Briton since 1988 to win a medal in two sports at the same Paralympics, winning the C4-5 women’s cycling time trial and the T38 400m sprint on the athletics track at September’s Rio Games.

She hopes to go for four, possibly five, events in Tokyo at the 2020 Paralympics and then also compete in the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, when para-bobsleigh will be on the programme.

British Athletics on Wednesday said Cox, who won four medals at the Rio Paralympics including golds in athletics and cycling, would have her funding withdrawn while she competes in the Channel 4 winter sports show.

A British Athletics spokesman said: “Kadeena Cox will be participating on The Jump on Channel 4 in the coming weeks and British Athletics can confirm that her UK Sport funding supported by the National Lottery will be suspended (from January 1 2017) until she returns to training and proves fitness.

“Due to the nature of the activities on the show, the athlete cannot continue to be supported by the World Class Performance Programme during this time. However, we wish her all the best with the programme and look forward to welcoming her back to the sport after the show.”

Cox does not have a major cycling event this year, but she would be expected to take part in the Para Athletics World Championships in London in July.

Meanwhile, GB Taekwondo said it had “reservations” over the participation of double Olympic champion Jade Jones in the show, which has a history of its celebrity competitors being forced to pull out of the competition due to injury.

Gymnast Louis Smith and eight-time Olympic medallist and former Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins have signed up.

The last series of The Jump saw former Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle suffer a serious back injury during training, while swimmer Rebecca Adlington hurt her shoulder.

Sir Steve Redgrave, a five-time Olympic rowing champion, was also forced to pull out of the injury-plagued show after a series of training injuries.

A statement from GB Taekwondo to Press Association Sport read: “While we had our reservations, we understand Jade’s desire to try new challenges and to take part in this show.

“We have held extensive discussions with Jade and her management and she is aware of the risks involved.

“She has made an informed decision to take part in the show and has ensured that The Jump and its production company has all the requisite cover and medical provision is in place.

“We will continue to support her as much as we can and look forward to seeing her back in training in due course.”

Wiggins, 36, said: “Skiing is a big passion of mine, it was a mix of that and the other committed names this year that made me want to sign up.

“Major retiring Olympians such as Sir Steve Redgrave have also trod this path, I see this as a sporting challenge and want to go out there and win it. Just don’t call me a celebrity.”

Retired Welsh rugby ace Gareth Thomas, Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson and former England international footballer Robbie Fowler will also be taking to the slopes.

Published: Wednesday 4th January 2017 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search