Adrian Peterson won’t try for Olympics, but other RBs might

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Adrian Peterson will not retire from the NFL to pursue track sprinting and the Olympics, according to ProFootballTalk, which reports he plans to play football in 2015.

The news came after Peterson was quoted by ESPN.com last week saying he considered returning to sprinting. The 29-year-old was a high school track and field standout.

“I’ve thought about going after the Olympics — you only live once,” Peterson said, according to the ESPN report. “I’ve seriously thought about this real hard. I continue to pray about it, but it’s been something that has been heavy, heavy on my heart.”

Peterson said he was interested in competing in the 200m and 400m, according to ESPN.

In high school, Peterson’s personal-best times were 10.19 seconds in the 100m and 47.6 in the 400m, according to Sports Illustrated. He also had a 200m personal best of 21.23, according to ESPN.

Those times were from more than 10 years ago.

The times that made the U.S. Olympic team at the 2012 trials finals were 9.93 in the 100m (10.27 to make the relay), 20.16 (wind-aided) in the 200m and 44.8 in the 400m (45.24 to make the relay).

Former New York Giants running back David Wilson has said he is trying to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team in the triple jump.

Retired four-time Pro Bowl running back Ahman Green will take part in a USA Rugby recruitment camp in January. Rugby is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1924 in 2016, though the U.S. faces a tough road to qualify.

Current U.S. rugby player Carlin Isles spent a month on the Detroit Lions practice squad as a wide receiver last winter.

Forty NFL players have competed in a Summer Olympics — 33 in track and field, six in wrestling and one in handball — according to sports-reference.com.

The most successful NFL players in the Olympics were Cowboys receiver Bob Hayes, who won a Super Bowl title and Olympic gold medals in the 100m and 4x100m relay in 1964, and Jim Thorpe.

Thorpe, born in 1887, won the Olympic decathlon and pentathlon in 1912 and began playing in the NFL in 1920.

The only NFL regular-season player to compete in a Winter Olympics was Herschel Walker. The Heisman Trophy winner finished seventh in two-man bobsled in 1992.

Johnny Quinn, a former NFL preseason wide receiver, made the 2014 U.S. Olympic bobsled team.

2016 Olympic track and field schedule released

Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

Sam Girard
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Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

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MORE: J.R. Celski explains decision to retire

Maia, Alex Shibutani extend break from ice dance competition

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Brother-sister ice dance duo Maia and Alex Shibutani will not compete next season, the Olympic bronze medalists announced via U.S. Figure Skating on Friday.

“We’re healthier and stronger than we were after the Olympics, and we’re continuing to push ourselves,” Maia Shibutani said in a press release.

“We’ve continued to skate a lot, and we feel like we’ve benefited from some time away to create in different environments and focus on experiences that can help us grow,” Alex said.

The “Shib Sibs” won the U.S. title in 2016 and 2017. They won their first world medal in 2011 (bronze) before reaching the world podium again in 2016 and 2017 with silver and bronze, respectively.

They most recently competed at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where they earned bronze both individually and in the team event.

Maia and Alex Shibutani are now the second ice dance medalists from PyeongChang to announce they’ll sit out at least part of next season. Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada will tour instead this fall and are not expected to return to competition.

The siblings haven’t stayed away from the ice entirely in their break from the sport, though — they’ve also been touring and performing in shows.

The Shibutanis became the second set of siblings to earn Olympic ice dance medals after France’s Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay in 1992.

MORE: How Gracie Gold landed in Philadelphia, thoughts competitive return

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