Super Bowl LVIII: 9 Olympian yang Pernah Bermain di NFL

I Gede Ardy Estrada

Editor: I Gede Ardy Estrada

Olympian di NFL
Sejumlah atlet Olimpiade ternyata pernah bermain juga dalam liga american footbal NFL. (Dede Sopatal Mauladi/Skor.id)

SKOR.id – American Football, olahraga yang paling digemari di Amerika Serikat, memiliki koneksi panjang dengan Olimpiade. Sejumlah Olympian pernah bermain dalam NFL (National Football League).      

Pertandingan final NFL 2023, Super Bowl LVIII, dijadwalkan berlangsung di Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada, Minggu (11/2/2024) malam atau Senin (12/2/2024) pagi WIB.

Tahun ini, Kansas City Chiefs, tim pemenang Super Bowl musim lalu dan kampiun AFC (American Football Conference, menghadapi San Francisco 49ers, selaku juara NFC (National Football Conference).

Namun, tahukah Anda beberapa Olympian atau atlet yang pernah tampil di Olimpiade musim panas atau musim dingin sempat bermain di NFL, liga utama american football Negeri Paman Sam? Berikut adalah beberapa di antaranya:

1) Nate Ebner (Rugbi)

Nate Ebner menjadi bagian dari skuad Amerika Serikat dalam cabor Men’s Rugby Seven yang bertanding di Olimpiade Rio 2016. Sebelum itu, ia direkrut sebagai roster di lini pertahanan New England Patriots pada 2012.  

2) Lawrence Okoye (Lempar Cakram)

Atlet lempar lembing Lawrence Okoye berpartisipasi dalam cabor Men’s Discus Throw untuk Kontingen Britania Raya pada Olimpiade London 2012. Tahun berikutnya, ia bergabung dengan San Francisco 49ers sebagai defensive lineman. Terakhir Okoye bermain untuk Miami Dolphins pada 2017.  

3) Marquise Goodwin (Lompat Jauh)

Wakil AS Marquise Goodwin menempati posisi ke-10 dalam cabor Men’s Long Jump di Olimpiade London 2012. Lalu pada 2013, ia gabung Buffalo Bills sebagai wide receiver. Goodwin, yang kini memperkuat Cleveland Browns, telah menjalani musim ke-10 di NFL.

4) Jeremy Bloom (Ski)

Jeremy Bloom merupakan atlet ski AS yang berpartisipasi dalam dua edisi Olimpiade musim dingin, Salt Lake City 2002 dan Turin 2006. Ia bermain american football saat mahasiswa di Universitas Colorado dan menjadi pick kelima Philadelphia Eagles pada 2006, namun dibekap cedera. Bloom lalu direkrut Steelers dan menjadi bagian roster dari 2007-2008.   

5) Michael Bates (Sprinter)

Sprinter AS Michael Bates meraih medali perunggu di nomor lari 200 meter putra Olimpiade Barcelona 1992. Pada tahun yang sama, ia masuk pick keenam NFL Draft untuk Seattle Seahawks. Bates juga adalah Pro Bowler lima kali saat membelaa Seahawks (1993-1994), Cleveland Browns (1995), Carolina Panthers (1996-2000) dan Washington Redskins (2001).   

6) Herschel Walker (Bobsled)

Herschel Walker terkenal karena eksploisitasnya di dalam lapangan american football semasa berstatus mahasiswa Universitas Georgia, USFL dan bersama Dallas Cowboys di NFL. Ia direkrut sebagai pusher tim bobsled AS untuk Olimpiade musim dingin Albertville 1992. Kala itu Walker dan rekannya finis ketujuh.  

7) Michael Carter (Tolak Peluru)

Atlet Michael Carter berhasil menyumbangkan medali perak untuk Kontingen AS di nomor tolak peluru pada Olimpiade Los Angeles 1984. Selain itu, ia tiga kali masuk seleksi Pro Bowl selama kariernya di NFL bersama San Francisco 49ers (1984-1992). 

8) Tommie Smith (Sprinter)

Sprinter AS Tommie Smith mencetak rekor dunia dan memenangi medali emas lari 200 meter putra pada Olimpiade Meksiko 1968. Tetapi, ia lebih dikenal karena aksi protes memakai sarung tangan hitam di podium bersama peraih perunggu John Carlos, yang membuat mereka di expelled. Smith juga pernah semusim bermain di NFL dengan Cincinnati Bengals tahun 1969.    

9) Jim Thorpe (Decathlon dan Pentathlon)

Salah satu atlet terbaik sepanjang masa, Jim Thorpe, sukses menyabet medali emas di cabor pentathlon dan decathlon serta berpartisipasi juga di nomor lompat jauh dan lompat tinggi di Olimpiade Stockholm 1912 silam. Thorpe adalah salah satu pendiri NFL dan sempat bermain untuk Rock Island (1925) serta Chicago Cardinals (1928). 

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