Win­ter sports crown for for­mer A&C winger

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - by Tim Street tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @Street­boyTim

BARELY five years ago he was tread­ing the muddy rugby fields of the London Leagues – now Jerry Rice is a world cham­pion skele­ton slider.

The 26-year-old grew up play­ing rugby for Amer­sham & Chiltern, where his two broth­ers, Do­minic and Johnny, still play in the first and se­cond XVs, re­spec­tively.

But hav­ing de­vel­oped a love of win­ter sports af­ter two sea­sons slid­ing the fa­mous Cresta run in St Moritz, Switzer­land, Rice con­tacted Bri­tish Skele­ton and com­peted for his coun­try for the first time in Lille­ham­mer in late 2012.

Hav­ing bagged four podium places, Rice fin­ished se­cond in the 201415 Europa Cup stand­ings and has now gone one bet­ter by win­ning the IBSF In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Cup.

Fin­ish­ing fifth in the fi­nal race at Lake Placid, New York State on Fri­day, Rice’s re­sults in the previ- ous races were enough for the High Wy­combe­born ath­lete to be named men’s cham­pion.

His ca­reer is still fol­lowed closely by his old team­mates back at Amer­sham & Chiltern, ac­cord­ing to the club’s first-team man­ager, Charles OwenCon­way.

“We are all very proud of what Jerry has achieved, not least his two broth­ers, who still play for us,” said the A&C man­ager. “Jerry was a winger, just like Do­minic, who is just break­ing through to the first-team, whereas Johnny plays in the back row or se­cond row.

“I don’t think [Jerry’s] played rugby since tak­ing up the skele­ton, but he used to do a lot of his fit­ness and train­ing work down at the club. He was al­ways quick, but a lot of what the skele­ton is about is re­finin­ing your sprint style and get­ting off to an ex­plo­sive start.

“A lot of skele­ton and bob­sleigh ath­letes tend to cross over to it from other sports, usu­ally from sprint­ing more than rugby though.”

Top of the world: IBSF In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Cup skele­ton cham­pion Jerry Rice used to play for Amer­sham & Chilton RFC, inset.

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