Jahvid Best becomes first person with NFL experience to qualify for Summer Olympics

AP

More than four years after his most recent concussion ended a once-promising NFL career, former Lions running back Jahvid Best returns to the top levels of athletic competition. He has been named to the St. Lucia track and field team for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Best, who will compete in the 100-meter dash, becomes the first person with prior NFL experience to qualify for the Summer Games. (In 1992, Herschel Walker competed in the bobsled at the Winter Olympics. Patriots safety Nate Ebner still has a chance to be named to the U.S. Olympic rugby team, too.)

It was believed Best would be required to run the 100 in 10.16 seconds or faster at the St. Lucian National Championships on June 25-26. However, a 10.16-second sprint from April at a meet in San Diego was deemed to be sufficient by the IAAF.

Given that 10.16 seconds is the minimum qualifying speed for the 100-meter dash and given that Best has never run it faster than that, it’s not likely he’ll advance beyond the preliminaries. Still, Best made it — which is a major accomplishment.

It helps to have sufficient ties to St. Lucia, where his father was born. The tiny Caribbean island had no one faster than Best, so he gets the spot on what will be a very small delegation to Rio. As of May, only two others had qualified for the team.

Best, a first-round pick of the Lions in 2010, had a significant history of concussions from college. A seemingly minor head injury in a 2011 game against the 49ers resulted in Best never being cleared to play again.

He finished his 22-game NFL career with 945 rushing yards and 774 receiving yards.

20 responses to “Jahvid Best becomes first person with NFL experience to qualify for Summer Olympics

  1. The guy was awesome to watch. I always had him on my fantasy teams, and he always over performed. I’m glad he’s finding new success.

  2. Awesome story. Amazing that this time (if this is what he ran) is still about 1/2 second slower than Usain Bolt. Nonetheless, good luck. He was fun to watch.

  3. Kind of a skewed headline. Best might be the first athlete to play in the NFL and then go on to the Olympics but there have been plenty of athletes who have earned Olympic medals and then go onto play in the NFL.

  4. Nice backhanded slap…always an ass.
    How do you know? Wait your on the TV you know everything.


    Given that 10.16 seconds is the minimum qualifying speed for the 100-meter dash and given that Best has never run it faster than that, it’s not likely he’ll advance beyond the preliminaries.

  5. What he should do is become the first player to qualify for the olympics with NFl experience to decide against going to the Olympics because Rio is a diseased infested, violent cesspool of a city.

  6. It’s always a shame when injuries keep talent from realizing itself. But this is a nice second chance. 10.16 at 100m = about 9.25 at 100 yards = damn fast. Here’s hoping he finds whatever zone he needs to get into and shaves .25 seconds off that time.

  7. lingsun54 says:
    Jul 16, 2016 7:36 PM

    During his short career his stats come out to 1250 combined yards for a 16 game season. He was great for the Lions.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yes he was, and it seemed like he was getting ready to really break out. Even though I root for a different team in the same division I hated to see Best go out like that.

  8. “The guy was awesome to watch. I always had him on my fantasy teams, and he always over performed. I’m glad he’s finding new success.”

    Are you on crack??? I wish him the Best, but that is the most inaccurate statement ever made.

  9. I was watching live when Kevin Barnes knocked Best into next week and made Best throw up green gatorade at Byrd Stadium. It was all down hill for Best concussion wise after that hit. Good to see Best continue competing at a high level.

  10. This story about him making the Olympics is very cool.

    Prior to losing Best, the Lions were 5-0 and looking great. He’s one of those, “If only …”, kind of players.

    Best’s 88 yard TD run against the Bears is a pretty awesome highlight. The Bears’ defense left him a little seam that he hit on a cutback. Once he was out in the open field there was absolutely no one who could catch him.

  11. Glad to see Best having post-football success – he’s obviously a highly motivated guy. It was so tragic to see his career end before it really got started. I wasn’t quite as excited as Jim Schwartz, but he was a lot of fun to watch in NCAA…

  12. Best was one of the most exciting players to come out of CAL, and that includes DeSean Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Chuck Muncie, Russell White, etc. It’s and damned shame the injuries cut his football career short in the NFL, but he was smart to walk away before they got worse. Best of luck in the Olympics!

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