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Wiggins trades Cycling for Ski Jumping

Olympian signs up for extreme winter sports show after retiring - despite last year's injury chaos in British television show “The Jump”

The 36-year-old is one of the biggest recent signings for a celebrity reality show - an impressive feat for The Jump.

Wiggins, 36, follows in the footsteps of fellow British sporting greats Steve Redgrave, Beth Tweddle, and Rebecca Adlington, all of whom pulled out of the show through injury.

But the five-time Olympic champion, who became Britain’s first Tour de France champion in 2012, is a seasoned skier and says he is looking forward to the challenge of learning how to ski jump.

Last week Sir Bradley announced his retirement from cycling after a 16-year career - and now he fancies a new challenge.

Sir Bradley made history as the first ever Brit to win the Tour de France in 2012. Within months he was crowned BBC's Sports Personality of the Year and awarded his knighthood. He became Great Britain's most decorated Olympian after winning a gold at the 2016 games in Rio.

In a move that will no doubt shock many, he has signed up for the winter sports contest, even though a barrage of serious injuries plunged its last series into crisis.

“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,” Wiggins said in a press release.

“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.”

Other participants in the program include former England footballer Robbie Fowler, ex-England rugby captain Jason Robinson and Olympic gymnast Louis Smith.

The show is known for being extremely dangerous and last year’s series saw seven celebrities rushed to hospital.

The show faced controversy last year when injuries forced seven contestants, including Tina Hobley and Rebecca Adlington, to withdraw.

Gymnast Beth Tweddle suffered one of its most serious injuries to date, fracturing two vertebrae in her neck.

Many viewers and non-viewers called for The Jump's cancellation, but bosses greenlit a fourth series after a thorough safety review.

The Jump 2017 is due to begin on C4 by early February - channel4.com/programmes/the-jump

Wiggins trades cycling for ski jumping