They may not be competing, but Team GB’s Olympic athletes have been busier than ever since their London 2012 success – and they’ve had their fair share of strange offers too.
Gold-winning long jumper Greg Rutherford said, “I got asked to do the World Mud Wrestling Championships. My management team batted it away, but if it had been a predominantly female event then I might have been enticed to go!”
Speaking just before switching on the Regent Street Christmas Lights in London on Tuesday night, Greg said his Olympic achievements still haven’t sunk in.
“I haven’t had a chance to sit down and take in the magnitude of the event. Once I get a moment to digest it all, then maybe it will hit me,” he said.
Sailor Ben Ainslie meanwhile has chosen to go straight back into competing rather than make too much of his new-found celebrity.
“I’m racing again now, but I’ve had some pretty ridiculous offers,” he said. “I was offered an obscene amount of money to appear on Celebrity Big Brother which is probably the weirdest one I’ve had so far.”
Rower Anna Watkins, who partnered Katherine Grainger in the women’s double sculls, agrees that life has changed completely since winning gold. “I thought all the hard work was over on 3rd August, but since then it’s been non stop,” she said. “You just feel different after something like that, and everyone else treats you differently. It takes a little while to get used to.”
Anna will be taking part in this year’s Children In Need fundraising extravaganza, and gave a hint about what she’s been getting up to for Friday night’s show.
“I was building a canoe out of cardboard for Children in Need and getting soaked in the Thames on a rainy November morning for a good cause,” she said. “Then in complete contrast the next day I was having lunch at Buckingham Palace with Princess Anne!”