Athletes should withdraw from The Jump to avoid potential “career-ending” injuries says former Olympian

Professional athletes Louis Smith, Kadeena Cox and Jade Jones are competing in the Channel 4 ski-jumping contest

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Olympian Louise Hazel has called on current athletes to withdraw from The Jump in case they suffer career-ending injuries. 

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The former Olympic heptathlete, who finished second in the 2015 series and has now retired from athletics, told BBC Radio 5 live that she was surprised to see other sports men and women signing up for the televised ski jumping competition. 

These include double Olympic Taekwondo star Jade Jones, four time Paralympic medallist Kadeena Cox and Olympic medal winning gymnast Louis Smith.

“As an athlete you are always looking for the next thrill but I would advise them to withdraw,” Hazel said.

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“For those athletes who have retired it is OK to take a risk, but for those still in sport this could easily turn into a career-ending injury.

“As a participant you know there is an element of risk, but there was a part of me seeking that out and it is a calculated risk. The question is whether people know the full extent of the risk before signing up.”

This year’s contestants should be well aware of the risks, as the last series saw several injuries.

Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle fractured her vertebrae during training and required surgery to have them fused together, while professional swimmer Rebecca Adlington also suffered a shoulder injury. Actress Tina Hobley was left on crutches from a knee injury, and Made in Chelsea’s Mark-Francis Vandelli broke his ankle. There have also been pulled hamstrings, chipped bones and injured ligaments. 

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Channel 4 has said there has been a “thorough review of safety procedures” ahead of this year’s series.