British discus tosser Lawrence Okoye didn’t play American football in high school, college, or probably even recreationally. But he’s also 6-foot 6-inches and 285 lbs and that’s usually enough.
Okoye, who finished twelfth in the discus at last summer’s Olympics and is also an accomplished rugby player, was invited to a NFL regional combine in Atlanta last week and says he already has five teams interested in his abilities.
“I really stood out because of my size, strength and speed,” Okoye told The Daily Mail. “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I was good [at the combine] – to the point that a lot of NFL clubs began talking to me… They all see me as a defensive end, which suits me just fine. I’ve had some meetings since, and done some private workouts with some clubs, too, and already they are talking to me about contracts.”
Okoye originally said he wouldn’t pursue an NFL career until after the 2016 Rio Olympics, but now he apparently intends to sign with a team after this month’s NFL Draft. He’ll attend the super regional combine in Dallas this weekend to give more teams a show of his talent and stature.
“I want to give this my best shot. It’s a rare life opportunity.”
It has been 300 days since Jim Craig first announced he would sell a bundle of his “Miracle on Ice” memorabilia, including his gold medal, for $5.7 million.
They didn’t sell last year. So he took most of the items in the original bundle and is splitting them up in an auction that runs though June 17.
On Tuesday, Craig said he had no thoughts about keeping the most precious items in the 10 months in between sales.
“We wanted to sell an entire collection to a person that would have the financial means to be able to display it, hopefully that everybody would be able to come and enjoy it like they have the last 35 years,” Craig said. “It’s a lot better than being tucked in a closet.”
There are a few items from the original bundle that Craig decided not to auction this time around — a 1980 Sports Illustrated Sportsmen of the Year trophy, two watches that he gave to his kids and an Olympic ring.
VIDEO: Which Miracle item is toughest for Craig to sell?
Christie Rampone, the 40-year-old captain of the 2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup team, has yet to return to full fitness after December knee surgery and pulled out of a U.S. camp ahead of two pre-Olympic friendlies in June.
Her bid for a fifth Olympics, and to become the oldest U.S. Olympic soccer player of all time, is in danger.
The camp begins Friday. The friendlies against rival Japan (which failed to qualify for Rio) are June 2 and June 5.
“I don’t feel 100 percent healthy enough to train and compete at that level,” Rampone said in a press release Tuesday. “I’ve been able to manage myself and contribute to Sky Blue [her club team] this season, which I will continue to do, but I also have an understanding of the level of fitness and health needed to push for an Olympic roster spot, and I know I’m not there right now. It’s not the right choice for myself or the team to put myself in that environment.”
Rampone, a defender, hasn’t played for the U.S. since her December arthroscopic knee surgery. At the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she played a total of 14 minutes.
The U.S. national team is currently without nine players from the 23-player World Cup team, though some are expected back for the Olympics, but only one of the missing other than Rampone is a defender (the retired Lori Chalupny).
The U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team for London was named in May 2012, but the Rio roster of 18 players is expected to be announced by early July.
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