After months of training, former Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best will be back in the sporting spotlight. According to NBC Sports, Best has qualified to represent St. Lucia in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Though Best was technically born in America, his father has dual citizenship with St. Lucia, making him eligible for island country team. Best will be competing in the 100-meter dash, according to Pro Football Talk.
Lions fans are well-versed in Best’s speed. Coming out of Cal, the Lions traded up in the draft to grab Best in the bottom of the first round. Best ran the fastest official 40-yard dash among running backs during the 2010 NFL Combine (4.35, faster than C.J. Spiller).
However, Best’s career in Detroit didn’t immediately take off. After a somewhat promising start to his rookie season, Best suffered a turf toe injury that hampered the last half of the year.
But 2011 started with a blast.
Best was just coming into his own in his sophomore season, averaging a monster 4.6 yards a carry. His best career game came in the above matchup with the Chicago Bears. In that nationally televised rivalry game, Best totaled 163 rushing yards on just 12 carries. But his next game would his last. After a history of concussions in college, Best suffered another one against the San Francisco 49ers and was forced into retirement after spending all of 2012 on the injured reserve list.
But Best has resurrected his athletic career as a track and field competitor. In 2015, Best finished second in an olympic training event in Chula Vista, California, running a 10.27 (wind-aided) 100-meter dash. To qualify for the olympic team a racer must finish with a score of 10.16, which Best reportedly accomplished on the nose in a meet back in April of this year. Considering that is a personal record for Best, he’s unlikely to advance past the preliminary rounds of the Summer Olympics.
Still, making an olympic team is a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Personally, I am extremely happy to see that Best is still making an athletic career of his natural talents, because we were all robbed of seeing more of that on the football field. Good luck to Jahvid Best in Rio!