Olympians Lolo Jones and Marquise Goodwin are dual sport athletes with cross-over fan bases who are approaching the 2016 track and field season from vastly different perspectives. Their paths to Rio de Janeiro will intersect at the NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday February 20 at the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory.
Jones, who is recovering from off-season surgery for a torn hip labrum, will run in a 60-meter hurdles event that is loaded with top-flight competitors Queen Harrison, Nia Ali, Brianna Rollins and Jasmin Stowers.
“I'm incredibly excited to be able to compete at the NYRR Millrose Games," Jones said. "If you told me two months ago that I would be competing in New York I would have said 'You're crazy.' I was just coming off my second surgery in less than a year and in my mind it was going to be close if I would even be ready in time for the Olympic Trials. So to be ready to race this early in the indoors is mind blowing to me."
Jones, who has represented the U.S. in both the summer and winter Olympics (as a member of the bobsled team) is a social media star who has shared her journey back from surgery with her 414,000 Twitter followers and 263,000 Instagram followers.
“I have worked hard to get back," Jones said. "I was beyond religious with my rehab and I guess that work has paid off. I haven't competed at Millrose since I started (with) bobsled, so it will be great to be back competing in front of the passionate New York crowd."
Goodwin, who recently completed his third NFL season with the Buffalo Bills, was limited to two games in the 2015 season because of broken ribs. The self-proclaimed "fastest dude in the league" will compete in the 60-meter dash against World Championships bronze medalist Andre De Grasse, as well as in his specialty, the long jump.
Goodwin was a 2012 Olympian and finished 10th in the long jump final in London during his time at the University of Texas.
Goodwin does not shy away from his claim about being the NFL's fastest player.
“No doubt about it," Goodwin said. "For me being able to say I'm the fastest guy in the NFL is kind of like (New York Giants’) Odell Beckham saying he's the best receiver in the NFL. He has the numbers to say those kinds of things. My times compared to other guys in the NFL are better. Until you race me and beat me I don't consider you to be faster."
Goodwin ran 4.27 seconds for 40 yards in the 2013 NFL draft combine, which was the third fastest ever.
He made a big splash again in the long jump at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Eugene in 2015 when he jumped a career-best 27-5.50 for fourth place.
The opportunity to make another Olympic team holds strong appeal, even though it may encroach on the start of football season.
“Words barely can describe the feeling of being at the Olympics," Goodwin said. "It was one of the best times of my life. I tried to treat it like just another meet, but it wasn't. I get emotional thinking about it."
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