Adrian Peterson Says He's Eyeing 2016 Summer Olympics and Usain Bolt

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2012

Adrian Peterson can rehabilitate a torn ACL at a non-human pace, immediately dominate upon his return to the NFL and possibly even set the single-season record for rushing yards in a season.

So why can't he compete at the 2016 Olympics and dominate that too?

That's right, folks. Adrian Peterson wants to compete in the 200- and 400-meter dashes at the 2016 Olympics, as he told Graham Bensinger of Yahoo! Sports.

In that interview, Peterson mentions that he was actually planning to start training for the Olympics and attend a few meets to get a better idea of how he measured up against top competition before he injured his knee at the end of last season.

And yes, he even thinks he can offer Usain Bolt a challenge, saying, "I feel like I can stand up to any challenge. I know a lot of people laugh and be like, 'Come on, let’s be real with yourself.' It’s Usain Bolt, but I feel like you can accomplish anything you put your mind to."

Peterson expects to begin his training soon, saying, "God willing this offseason, maybe I'll be able to hit the Penn Relays, or one of the big relays, and test the waters and see what I can do." 

The mind is able, but is the body willing? Could Peterson simply propel himself into the Olympics on sheer will alone?

I have my doubts. Olympians train specifically for their events for years. They immerse themselves in the technicalities of the race, concentrating on the details and specifics over every meter of a run that the average fan would never even think to consider.

They target specific muscles in training, build a regimen to specifically aid in their event and concentrate on running year-round.

As amazing an athlete as Peterson is, he won't be able to step into the blocks and simply outrun the competition. 

It's not that simple.

Then again, who am I to doubt Peterson? This is the man who tore his ACL a year ago yet has rushed for 1,898 yards and 11 touchdowns in 15 games and sits atop many MVP lists. He's not only a freak of nature, but he has the mental fortitude and work ethic to accomplish astounding feats.

With the proper training, who knows how much he could increase his natural speed?

So if Peterson decides to focus half the year on football and the other half on track and football training, perhaps he can pull this off.

The 200- and 400-meter sprints, unlike the 100 meters, take into account endurance and desire. If you can train yourself to run at optimum speed over the duration of each event, you can trump someone who has more pure speed than you over a shorter distance.

I'll believe Peterson can qualify for the Olympics when I see it. Then again, I won't be all that surprised if I see it.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets aspire to replicate the greatness of Adrian Peterson. They aren't even close.

Follow TRappaRT on Twitter