Since there’s not a Canadian football team for Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to play for, he has to settle for being a member of the media to fulfill his Olympic dream.
The Chiefs offensive lineman is working for Radio-Canada as a reporter in Korea, making him probably the largest reporter there.
“It was just a tremendous opportunity,” he said, via Aaron Rose of the Kansas City Star. “I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics.”
He gave up his winter sport of choice (cross-country skiing), which is reasonable for a 321-pound man. His sistersMarilou and Delphine still have a chance, as they compete in rowing and cross-country skiing. But for Laurent to make it, he was going to have to find a new path.
But with his unique matrix of experience (being a high-level athlete who is close to completing his medical degree, he was able to find an in with the radio network. But he also learned some of the frustrations, as his interview with Canadian freestyle skier Mikaël Kingsbury had to be pushed back for other media outlets with broadcast priority. That should at least make life easier for Chiefs beat writers next year.
“I think it’s nice that with my background in medical school and my background as an athlete, I can communicate or connect better with some of the athletes,” he said. “It makes you realize that once the journalists get to you, you need to be kind because they work hard in order to get there.”
And if getting an athlete to understand reporters are just there doing their jobs rather than plotting their demise isn’t proof that the Olympics can bring the world together, nothing is.