NFL's 'fastest man' eyes Olympics after Super Bowl
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Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill says he dreams of one day racing in the Olympics once he has gotten Sunday's Super Bowl out of the way.
The controversial speedster, who escaped suspension last year over an incident which left his toddler son with a broken arm, is one of the main weapons in the Chiefs' formidable offensive arsenal.
The 25-year-old nicknamed "Cheetah" is regarded by many as the fastest player in the NFL, even if he took no part in a made-for-television contest last year to determine the winner of that accolade.
Hill's blistering pace helped him clock a personal best of 9.98secs for the 100m when in high school, and he was a competitive track and field athlete in college before he focused on gridiron.
Hill told reporters Tuesday that he is keen to one day resurrect his sprinting career.
"Hopefully after the season, if I'm healthy and my mind is still in the right place, I really want to try and like try to qualify for some Olympic teams," Hill said.
"Maybe get a few guys off the team and see if we can put a relay together, and show these track guys that football guys, we used to do this back in high school, man, we still got it, you know?"
While this summer's Olympics in Tokyo are an unrealistic target, Hill's dream may not be as fanciful as it seems.
Several NFL players have competed in Olympic sprinting over the years, notably former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jeff Demps, a member of the USA 4x100m relay squad at London 2012.
Former Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best also ran in the 100m at the 2016 Olympics, representing Saint Lucia.
Hill, who signed a three-year $54 million contract extension with the Chiefs last September, insisted he was serious about taking another crack at sprinting.
"The thing is I'm weighing 195 (pounds) right now," he said. "Back in high school when I ran a 9.9, I was 175," Hill said.
"If I do it, it'll be like me changing my whole diet, changing everything that I've been doing to get to this point where I am now."
As he prepares for his first Super Bowl, Hill is simply relieved to be playing at all.
He was the subject of a criminal investigation last year after his three-year-old son suffered a broken arm.
Prosecutors later declined to press charges, however, after stating they could not determine who was responsible for causing the fracture, Hill or the boy's mother.
The NFL also declined to sanction Hill, who had pleaded guilty in 2015 to a separate domestic violence case.
Hill, who was barred from the Chiefs training facility while the NFL investigated the child abuse claim against him, said he never doubted he would return.
"I had no worries about anything," he said.
"It kind of sucked being away from the team. But it gave me a chance to look at myself and look at my game a bit more. I talked to a bunch of people, did a lot of training on my own.
"I was able to still see my son. My son knows what's going on. Having my son around me during those moments was a real big thing I needed."
© 2020 AFP