Posted by Doug on July 10, 2008
I am trying to track down all olympians who also played in the NFL. Here's who I've got so far. This list is probably not complete. Please help me add to it if you can.
Jim Thorpe (olympic page)
Dudley DeGroot (olympic page)
Ollie Matson (olympic page)
Jack Riley (olympic page)
John Spellman (olympic page)
Bob Hayes (olympic page)
Sam Francis (olympic page)
Herschel Walker (olympic page)
Ron Brown (olympic page)
World-class hurdler and practice-squad-class football player Renaldo Nehemiah never participated in the Olympics. The boycotted Moscow games were right in the prime of his career.
Canadian basketball olympian Bobby Simpson is in the CFL's Hall of Fame.
Additionally, here is a sad bit of NFL history that I didn't know about, from the bio of sprinter Stone Johnson:
In the first semi-final of the 1960 US Olympic Trials, Stone Johnson equaled the world record in running 20.5 for the 200. He placed second in the final to Ray Norton. Sprinting for Grambling State, he was also second in the 1960 NCAA 200. He then turned to professional football. In a 1963 pre-season game, playing for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Oakland Raiders, he sustained a broken neck and died 10 days later. Although he never played a down in a regular-season NFL game, his number 33 was retired by the Chiefs.