Goodwin's bid for Rio starts with US Trials this weekend

Posted Jul 1, 2016

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin, will try to make his second straight US Olympic team as a long jumper at the US Track and Field trials this weekend.

“Everyone stand and remove your caps.”

It is said before every baseball game, every race and every football game. You follow it up by putting your right hand above your heart and sing, or hum, the National Anthem as the music plays.

The song gives you a sense a patriotism. The people around you provide a sense of unity. All of this only gets amplified when it comes to the Olympics. Who wouldn’t want to compete in the Olympics where you could represent your country?

Buffalo Bills wide receiver and Olympic hopeful Marquise Goodwin has the opportunity to make the United States team in the long jump event as he will be at the University of Oregon in Eugene for the US Track and Field Olympic Trials (July 1st-10th). Goodwin needs to place in the top three to be on the team in Rio. Preliminaries for the long jump start July 2nd with the finals on July 3rd.

“Anytime you have somebody that can represent our country I think it’s fantastic,” Rex Ryan said last month. “It’s just a special thing and for him a once in a lifetime deal. He’s representing himself and more so he’s representing our country and our community. I’m proud of the fact that he plays for the Buffalo Bills.”

Should he make the US team it wouldn’t be Goodwin’s first trip to the Olympics. He was on the 2012 team that went to London, but finished a disappointing 10th in the long jump.

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Now four years wiser, Goodwin feels he is in prime condition to take one of the top three spots, despite being late to the training party with his commitment to the Bills.

“I really started training in January,” he said. “I started a little bit in December and then it got serious for me in January. I started to travel and do meets and things like that. It took a while for me to get to this point. I think a lot of it has to do with maturity. I went in at 20 years old to the last Olympic games and I’m 25 now, so maturity has a lot to do with that. Just knowing the ropes, my body composition has definitely changed, I’ve slimmed down, leaned out, I’ve gotten stronger, got my grown man strength. I’m just experienced. That’s definitely made the difference for me this year as opposed to four years ago.”

Already with one of the longest jumps in the world this calendar year, Goodwin has results to back up his confidence.

“I’m very confident,” he said. “As long as I maintain health and stay focused on what I need to do, there’s no doubt that I should make the team.”

As an added storyline to the US Trials in Eugene, Goodwin’s wife, Morgan will be competing in the 100 meter hurdles in her own bid to make the US Olympic Track and Field team.

“She has a shot too,” said Goodwin. “Hopefully we can make history in that area as well.”

Goodwin credits Rex Ryan’s statement to the media that he was okay with his young speed receiver competing for a spot on the Olympic team as the go ahead he needed to focus on the long jump full time.

“He really understands life outside of football,” Goodwin said. “People have dreams outside of football that they’ve always wanted to achieve. Since I was a nine-year-old kid I wanted to be an Olympic champion. I wanted to be in the NFL and win the Super Bowl, and now I’m put in a position where it’s pretty attainable. I really can go out there and do it.

“The whole staff has been very supportive. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity that’s been presented to me.”

Goodwin maintains that he loves football and track, one no more or less than the other. If Goodwin makes the Olympic team he’ll miss a good portion of Bills training camp in August. He knows it’s a cut throat league and missed time at camp won’t help him. But the receiver isn’t concerned about transitioning from track back to football in short order.

“I’m not saying that it will be easy, but I don’t think it will be really difficult,” he said. “I’m not new to this. This isn’t my first time transitioning from track to football, or football to track. In 2012 Olympics, I came right off the plane and went to practice and hopped right in with no hesitation, no problems. I know this is the NFL and I respect that, and I respect the work that my teammates have been putting in, but I don’t really feel like I’m going to be too far behind because I’ve been working too.”

And while he’s working on making it to Rio, there’s only one thought on his mind right now.

“Winning,” he said. “Getting the gold medal, that’s what I look forward to the most.”

To watch the Buffalo Bill and follow his path to Rio, he will be competing in the qualifiers on July 2 at 1:45 Pacific time, 4:45 Eastern standard time. The finals will be on the 3rd at 4:45 Pacific, 7:45 EST.