David Wilson has traded his dream of winning a Super Bowl ring in for one that involves an Olympic medal instead. He wants to go for the gold in the triple jump, according to USA Today.
“I’ll be going back to school to get my degree and training for the Olympics,” the 23-year-old ex-New York Giant told USA Today of his plan to conquer the triple jump. “That’s something I really want to aspire to do now. I was the national champion twice in high school — junior and senior year — and was an All-American in college [at Virginia Tech].”
Wilson, who was a first-round NFL draft pick in 2012, decided to retire earlier this month after doctors warned him that playing the contact sport could make the neck injury he sustained last October even worse. He broke the news on Aug. 6 in an emotional message:
The message was also filled with hope for the future, however, which Wilson is already looking toward. He tells USA Today:
“When I was involved in football, that’s all I was thinking about was football. That’s not bad in my situation, because the person I am, I know I can make track. I’m strong enough to know that there’s more to life than that. Some people might have taken it more heavy if they took the same approach I had as just focusing on one thing.”
In February 2011, while Wilson was still concentrating on both football and track, Wilson earned a bronze medal in the triple jump at the ACC indoor track and field championships. He jumped a distance of more than 51 feet 9 inches.