Ex-Lions running back Jahvid Best was forced into retirement due to concussion issues looks to become an Olympic track participant. Best would run for the country of St. Lucia. Best didn’t grow up in St. Lucia, but his Dad did, and he hopes this helps him attain citizenship before the games begin on August 5th.
Best was a first round pick in 2010 by the Lions who had great promise but a college injury history that followed him to the NFL. At the scouting combine he ran a 4.35 second forty yard dash which made him the second fastest running back at the combine behind C.J. Spiller who ran a 4.27. A concussion sustained playing against the 49ers in week six of the 2011 series, the third such injury of his professional career, spelt the end of his time in the NFL – he was released in 2013 having never again taken to the field.
Best’s most memorable play for Lions fans was probably his 88 yard touchdown run against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. It sealed the win for the first home Monday Night Football game in over a decade in Detroit. It remains the second longest run in Detroit Lions history.
Jahvid Best wouldn’t be the only player/Olympian
Best wouldn’t be the first NFLer to go the Olympic route. Earlier this month, Jarryd Hayne retired from the 49ers to play rugby sevens for Fiji. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin of the Bills also participated in the 2012 summer games, competing in the long jump.
In order to be able to participate in the games, Best needs to run in a local qualifier, and beat the Olympic standard time for the 100 meter run, 10.16 seconds. On April 2 Best ran in the Arnie Robinson invitational where he was clocked in at the Olympic cut-off 10.16 seconds. It was a personal best for Best, and it beat the St. Lucia record by .01 seconds.
Jahvid Best won’t have any competition at the St. Lucian championships at the end of June, it will just be a matter of whether he can beat the 10.16 qualifier mark. If he was able to reach that back in April, he should be able to get to that point in June. Best looks to join two other Olympians that have qualified to represent St. Lucia, long-jumpers Levern Spencer and Jeannelle Scheper.