18 January 2017Reality cheques can wait, says Jonnie
Sounds like madness? Not if you’re chasing a world title.
The double Paralympic T44 100metres champion has revealed he turned down an offer to go on TV show I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! over the winter after defending his crown in Rio.
It was not a decision the 23-year-old made lightly but having watched Greg Rutherford go on Strictly Come Dancing and fellow Paralympian Kadeena Cox sign up for The Jump, he decided to make the call to opt out, prioritising this summer’s world championships in London and training at his Leicestershire base.
He would relish the chance to mingle with the creepy-crawlies, and the odd celebrity, though.
‘We had a good opportunity. If I did any of them [reality shows], it would definitely be going into the jungle. It was something I seriously did contemplate this year,’ Peacock told Metro.
‘I’d love to do it, I think it’s something that would be fun and a great life experience. It was something I could have done but I want to go and achieve something, that’s the decision and sacrifice I had to make. I have to hope the opportunity comes up again.’
Peacock also defended governing body British Athletics’ decision to suspend Cox’s funding while the double Paralympic champion competes on the slopes in The Jump next month.
Despite the worry of injury Cox, who won gold medals in both track and field and cycling in Brazil, joins the likes of Olympians Sir Bradley Wiggins and Jade Jones in the winter sports show that has seen so many of its competitors end up getting hurt.
Peacock, speaking as he launched the official London schools ticket offer which will see 250,000 schoolchildren across the capital given the opportunity to attend the IPC event, said: ‘It’s a huge risk. She’ll only have five months’ training before the [athletics] world champs [in July].
‘There are so many people training and putting in the hours to get a world championship medal, so why would she get her funding over someone who’s doing that? She has to accept with that [signing up to the show] comes that [loss of funding].’
Having stormed to a second Paralympic gold last summer, Peacock is already eyeing the next Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020. He admits it was the Japanese capital city’s segment in Rio last summer which convinced him he has to be there.
‘Tokyo looks awesome and I want to be a part of it,’ he added.
‘The closing ceremony in Rio showed me they are going to put on one hell of a show.’