Jahvid Best is fast. But he Olympic fast? We’re about to find out.
The former NFL running back, who dashed for some incredible runs in his playing days for the Detroit Lions and California Golden Bears before retiring in 2013, is putting his famously fleet feet to the test as he vies for a spot competing in the 100-meter dash in the Rio Olympics.
But instead of competing with All-American track stars like Tyson Gay or Justin Gatlin, Best will aim for a spot for St. Lucia, where his father was born. The island nation already has two Olympic qualifiers—women’s high jumpers Levern Spencer and Jeannelle Scheper—and Best is looking to be the third athlete among the contingent heading to Brazil.
The former first-round pick—he ran a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash—said he wants to bring “pride to St. Lucia,” but there are a few things he’ll have to take care of first—namely becoming a citizen of the country.
“I want to carry the flag around the track and make my family and country proud. I will be seeking a place on the team, representing my country would mean a lot to me, and to my family,” Best said to the St. Lucia News.
Best’s father is a Saint Lucian citizen, and that means Best is eligible to become one as well. But even if he figures out the passport, the road to Rio will be no easy task. Best needs to run in a local competition and meet the qualifying time—a 10.16-second performance in the 100. Fortunately for Best, he ran exactly that time at the the Arnie Robinson Invitational in San Diego, California in April:
For Best to qualify for Rio, he’ll have to equal that time again at the St. Lucian National Championships in June. If Best pulls it off, he’ll not only qualify for the Olympics, but also set a new St. Lucian national record—“Best”-ing the 10.17-second mark set by Ronald Promesse.
If there’s any doubt that Best has some ridiculous athletic ability, check out this 93-yard run from his college football days: