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Robert Griffin III says he plans to qualify for the Olympics someday

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

Robert Griffin III is living a dream as one of the young, elite quarterbacks in the NFL, but that's not the dream he always had.

Griffin, the reigning NFL offensive rookie of the year for the Washington Redskins, is a superior athlete. And for a long time, his dream wasn't playing pro football, it was to be an Olympian. He competed in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing 11th overall.

"My dream is to be in the Olympics and represent the United States of America," Griffin said. "I was preparing for my dream."

In a video produced by USAA as part of its Million Fan Salute campaign, Griffin said he still holds onto that dream of competing in the Olympics and still plans to make it happen.

“I would definitely want to still perform my dream of still going to the Olympics," Griffin said in the USAA video. "Some way, somehow … Maybe it’s track, maybe it’s badminton, maybe it's ping pong (table tennis), but I’ll find a way to get to the Olympics.”

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It sounds crazy, but he came fairly close to making it as a teenager in 2008 and he's an incredible athlete, so maybe it's not so outlandish.

In the video, Griffin also talks about his love of basketball, and how when he was young the goal was to "be better than Michael Jordan." He was the starting point guard on his varsity high school team as a freshman, and said he got basketball offers from colleges like Florida, Baylor and Nebraska.

He could have gone with basketball or track (as a freshman at Baylor he won the Big 12 championship in the 400-meter hurdles and the NCAA Midwest Region title with a region record time of 49.53), but after missing out on qualifying for the Olympic team in 2008, he focused on football.

"God took over and I had to go a different way," Griffin said.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter. 

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