Michael Johnson is one of the greatest United States Olympians of all-time. The world-class sprinter set records and brought home four gold medals, so his thoughts on who could be the next Olympic track star carry some weight.
Enter Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreke Hill.
Hill is one of the fastest players in the NFL and has expressed his goal of competing for the United States in the upcoming Summer Olympics. Unfortunately for Hill, Johnson had some less than encouraging words for the NFL star.
When discussing Hill’s prospects as an Olympian, Johnson said Hill “knows what his sport is” and expressed doubt that he could qualify for the Olympic team.
“Honestly the sport is much more complex than people think,” Johnson said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “These guys are all fast and they’re struggling to pick up the concept of a simple start position. Simple to me. Not simple for them. Just like if I went in and tried to be a running back. It looks simple, just take the ball and avoid the defense. It looks simple. It’s not simple. None of these sports are simple. At a world-class level, nothing is simple. To be a world-class athlete in any sport, you have to have a tremendous amount of experience and you probably have to have been doing that since you were kid.”
Track speed and NFL speed are inarguably different, so it makes sense for Johnson to doubt Hill’s ability to make the transition.
That is unlikely to sway Hill from pursuing his dream, however.
The Summer Olympics, known officially as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, are scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020.