He may have never played a down of American football – ever – but British discus champ Lawrence Okoye, who San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh has called an “adonis” and a “beautiful man,” has the work ethic to make a difference now that he’s signed a deal with the 49ers.
Because Okoye admits that he was pretty “terrible” at the discus when he started only three years ago. That was, of course, before breaking the British national record and landing in the event finals at his hometown London Games, finishing twelfth.
“I had to work really hard to become good at [discus]. It’s going to be the same path in this sport,” Okoye told the San Jose Mercury News.
“I’m not going to be as good as everybody else. I’m going to look out of place… But with some work and with time and effort, I know I can catch up and hopefully become a dominant player in the league.”
Okoye, who never even put on a set of pads before meeting with the Saints this spring, will work with defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who spent some time in NFL Europe and knows how to train up a novice in the sport. But despite his size and determination, and an impressive 4.78-seconds forty time at the combine, Okoye is humble about his role with a Niners team fresh off a Super Bowl appearance.
“I’m not going to say I’m going to kick Justin Smith or Ray McDonald out of their positions and I’m going to get 20 sacks next year. Of course not… It’s all about development. I’m going to develop every day.”
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Nine more athletes, including six medal winners, have been retroactively disqualified from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after failing retests of their doping samples.
The International Olympic Committee announced the decisions on Wednesday in the latest sanctions imposed on athletes whose stored samples came back positive after being retested with improved methods.
Four athletes from former Soviet countries were stripped of silver medals, and two of bronze medals. The medals were in weightlifting, wrestling and steeplechase.
The IOC stores doping samples for 10 years to allow them to be reanalyzed when enhanced techniques become available.
The IOC recorded a total of 98 positive cases in recent resting of samples from Beijing and the 2012 London Olympics.
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Rory McIlroy has said he was proven wrong about golf’s place in the Olympics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s keen on the 2020 Tokyo Games after skipping Rio.
The four-time major champion was asked Wednesday if he had any plans to play in the next Olympics and called it a “tough question.”
“The participation in the Olympics for me, it’s just a little more complicated I feel for me than some other people from where I’m from and the whole politics of the thing,” McIlroy said. “It’s a difficult subject for me.”
McIlroy is from Northern Ireland, which does not have a separate delegation at the Olympics. That led to a scrutinized decision for McIlroy, who had to choose in 2014 between representing Great Britain and Ireland for golf’s Olympic return in Rio.
McIlroy opted for Ireland, which he represented at the World Cup of Golf in 2009 and 2011.
“I don’t know whether it’s been because the World Cup has been in Brazil and I’ve been thinking a couple of years down the line,” McIlroy reportedly said in June 2014. “Thinking about all the times that I played as an amateur for Ireland and as a boy and everything, I think for me it’s the right decision to play for Ireland in 2016.”
Golf’s place in the Olympics is not guaranteed beyond 2020, so Tokyo may be McIlroy’s last opportunity.
“Four years’ time is a long ways away, so we’ll see what happens,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “Right now, I’ll concentrate on the 16 majors that we have between now and then and try to get a few more of those and go from there.”
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