Who are the fastest NFL players in track’s 100m?

Bob Hayes
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When DK Metcalf lines up to race the 100m against some of the U.S.’ best sprinters on Sunday, he will also compete against history — a long line of football speedsters to excel in track (most of whom did so before entering the NFL).

Here’s a list of the fastest wind-legal 100m times from men who played in an NFL regular season game (statistics via World Athletics, Tilastopaja.org and Pro Football Reference):

1. Jim Hines — 9.95 (1968)
The 1968 Olympic 100m gold medalist was the first man to break 10 seconds with electronic timing and remains the only NFL player to do so. Hines was a sixth-round pick in the 1968 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He joined the team after the Mexico City Games, was given the number 99 and later an unfortunate nickname for a wide receiver — “Oops.” He played in 10 games between 1969 and 1970 for the Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

2. Trindon Holliday — 10.00 (2009)
The 5-foot-5 return specialist placed second in the 2007 USATF Outdoor Championships behind Tyson Gay, but passed on a world championships spot to focus on football. He was eliminated in the 2008 Olympic Trials semifinals, was drafted in 2010 in the sixth round by the Houston Texans, then played among five teams in the regular season from 2011-14.

(All-Pro Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch ran a recorded 10.0 at the 1972 NCAA Championships, which was presumably hand timed and is not counted by World Athletics.)

3/4. Jeff Demps/Jacoby Ford — 10.01 (2008/2009)
Demps is the lone active sprinter on this list. His best time came at the 2008 Olympic Trials, counting as the national high school record though it came the summer after the end of his prep career. He later won a national football title at the University of Florida, was part of the 4x100m relay at the 2012 Olympics and played in two NFL games as a return specialist in 2013.

Ford is better known for his days as a Raiders wide receiver (57 receptions from 2010-13), but he clocked 10.01 while a Clemson sprinter in 2009. As Jesse Squire noted, an argument can be made that Ford is the fastest man who played significantly in the NFL.

5/6. Bob Hayes/Ron Brown — 10.06 (1964/1983)
Hayes is the only man with an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring, achieving the former at the 1964 Tokyo Games and the latter in 1972 during a Hall of Fame wide receiving career mostly with the Dallas Cowboys. He ran 10.06 to dominate the Olympic final, which Tim Layden covered as part of this story last year.

Brown ran his 10.06 in 1983, after he turned down the Cleveland Browns, who drafted him in the second round that year, to pursue the 1984 Olympics. Brown finished fourth in the 100m in Los Angeles and earned relay gold. He then went to the NFL, playing 100 games primarily as a return specialist.

7. Alvis Whitted — 10.07 (1996)
Sixth in the 1996 Olympic Trials 200m won by Michael Johnson in a world record (that Johnson later broke at the Atlanta Games). Whitted ran that final in lane two, sandwiched among three individual Olympic gold medalists — Carl Lewis (lane one), Mike Marsh (four) and Johnson (five). Whitted returned to NC State, then played nine seasons as a wide receiver between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Raiders.

8. Darrell Green — 10.08 (1983)
Known as the NFL’s Fastest Man for winning the league’s annual head-to-head sprint competition four times in the 1980s and ’90s. Green, a Hall of Fame cornerback for Washington who never competed at the Olympics, dusted 1984 relay gold medalists Brown and Sam Graddy, 1992 Olympic bobsledder Herschel Walker, bobsledder and masters sprint champion Willie Gault and Mel Gray, the Detroit Lions’ ace return specialist. Green also reportedly ran a 4.09-second 40-yard dash, faster than the NFL Combine record (4.22), though Green tweeted in March that it was “somewhere in the range of 4.09ish.”

9. Sam Graddy — 10.09 (1984)
1984 Olympic 100m silver medalist behind Lewis. Graddy played 43 games over five NFL seasons as a wide receiver.

10. Willie Gault — 10.10 (1982)
Gault qualified for the 1980 Olympics as part of the 4x100m relay pool, but the U.S. boycotted the Moscow Games. He then began an 11-year NFL career as a wide receiver, winning Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears (and helped organize the “Super Bowl Shuffle,” where he was the second solo singer between Walter Payton and Mike Singletary). While playing football, he wanted to bid for LA 84, but was barred over rules that kept professional athletes out of the Games. In 1988, Gault traveled to the Calgary Winter Games with the U.S. bobsled team as a non-competing alternate. Gault owns 100m masters world records for ages 45-49 (10.72), 50-54 (10.88) and 55-59 (11.30).

*Half of the men on this list (plus Branch) played for the Raiders, who weren’t shy about drafting or signing speed.

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IOC gives more time to pick 2030 Olympic host, studies rotating Winter Games

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The 2030 Winter Olympic host, expected to be Salt Lake City or Sapporo, Japan, is no longer targeted to be decided before next fall, the IOC said in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

The IOC Future Host Commission was granted more time to study factors, including climate change, that could impact which cities and regions host future Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The 2030 Winter Games host is not expected to be decided before or at an IOC session next September or October.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane last year without a traditional bid race.

There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Olympics, the IOC said Tuesday without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid. All three cities are attractive as past Winter Games hosts with existing venues.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The future host commission outlined proposals for future Winter Olympics, which included rotating hosts within a pool of cities or regions and a requirement that hosts have an average minimum temperature below freezing (32 degrees) for snow competition venues at the time of the Games over a 10-year period.

The IOC Executive Board gave the commission more time to study the proposals and other factors impacting winter sports.

The IOC board also discussed and will continue to explore a potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic hosts.

Also Tuesday, the IOC board said that Afghanistan participation in the 2024 Olympics will depend on making progress in safe access to sports for women and young girls in the country.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC to suspend Afghanistan until women and girls can play sport in the country.

In a press release, the IOC board expressed “serious concern and strongly condemned the latest restrictions imposed by the Afghan authorities on women and young girls in Afghanistan, which prevent them from practicing sport in the country.” It urged Afghanistan authorities to “take immediate action at the highest level to reverse such restrictions and ensure safe access to sport for women and young girls.”

The IOC board also announced that North Korea’s National Olympic Committee will be reinstated when its suspension is up at the end of the year.

In September 2021, the IOC banned the North Korean NOC through the end of 2022, including banning a North Korean delegation from participating in the Beijing Winter Games, after it chose not to participate in the Tokyo Games.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was the only one of 206 National Olympic Committees to withdraw from Tokyo. The country made its choice in late March 2021, citing a desire “to protect our athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”

The IOC said in September 2021 that it “provided reassurances for the holding of safe Games and offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution until the very last minute (including the provision of vaccines), which were systematically rejected by the PRK NOC.”

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Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

Justine Dufour-Lapointe
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Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

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