While at least one track and field athlete with NFL ties will be in Rio for the Summer Games, another will not.
Buffalo Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin, who has spent this year pursuing his dream of making it to the Olympics in the long jump, fell short of that goal at the U.S. Trials over the weekend.
It’s hard to say Goodwin didn’t choke. Coming into the competition with the two longest jumps in the world this year, Goodwin finished seventh; the top three spots made the American team.
Goodwin’s best effort of his six-jump series was 8.25 meters (27 feet, .75 inches), behind the three best performers: Jeffrey Henderson (8.59 meters, 28-2.25), Jarrion Lawson (8.58 meters, 28-1.75) and Will Claye (8.42 meters, 27-7.5). Goodwin’s best jumps this year were 8.45 meters and 8.42 meters.
“I’m blessed. I’m alive. I’m walking,” said Goodwin with a smile, according to NewYorkUpstate.com. “At this point, all I can ask for is an opportunity — I got that today.”
God made me a winner today; not by winning a medal/ spot to #Rio2016 but by overcoming my fear of losing. Thank You Lord for opportunity ????????
— Marquise Goodwin (@flashg88dwin) July 4, 2016
Goodwin now has a couple of weeks to rest up – and maybe bulk up – before heading to New York for Bills training camp.
“Now that this is over, I get to stop eating like a bird and get into some real food,” he said. “I’m going to rest first, though. I haven’t had any rest in a long time, so my body is banged up — I feel like I played eight or nine games and I’m in Week 10 already.”
There’s probably only a 50 percent chance Goodwin makes the Bills’ roster. It works in his favor that currently Buffalo doesn’t have a third or fourth receiver with the departure of Chris Hogan and retirement of Percy Harvin. It works against him that Goodwin is not a good route-runner or pass-catcher and not the most popular guy in the locker room.
He’s also injury prone, so any time he spends on the sideline in camp would likely hurt his chances further.