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.”
Fenway Park will host some of the world’s best freeskiers in the one-of-a-kind Big Air at Fenway, live on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday night.
Big air skiers will descend from a ramp that’s four times higher than the Green Monster inside the hallowed Boston Red Sox home.
Ski big air is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic disciplines, except skiers get one jump per run.
WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET
On Thursday, Canadian Max Parrot and American Julia Marino won the snowboard big air competitions at Fenway Park.
Big Air at Fenway coverage will conclude with an NBC show on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.
MORE: Olympic champ suffers concussion at Big Air at Fenway practice
In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.
The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.
The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.
Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.
NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.
MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on U.S. Olympic medalists from Sochi