(Reuters) – Former NFL running back Jahvid Best has been cleared to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics for St. Lucia in athletics.
Best, who has a Saint Lucian father and holds dual citizenship with the United States, met the Olympic qualifying standard by running the 100 meters in 10.16 on April 2.
However, he had to wait until he was officially cleared to run for St. Lucia. “When I think (about) the road I have traveled to get here I get tons of emotions. A couple of years ago my lifetime dream was crushed,” Best told NBC in reference to the multiple concussions that ended his NFL career.
“I was devastated, but I never stop dreaming and believing in myself. My family has instilled a lot of values that has enabled me to persevere through it all.” Best, 27, played two seasons for the Detroit Lions from 2010-2011 before his NFL career was cut short and he turned his attention to athletics.
“This is a huge accomplishment for me, but at the same time this is just the beginning,” he added.
“I have only been in this sport for two years professionally and plan on being around for a long time.
“Above all else I’m excited to get out there and make my country and family proud.”
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)