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  • Okoye played school rugby alongside Elliot Daly and Marland Yarde. As well as Wasps I believe he also spent some time with London Irish, but didn’t really cause a ripple.

    The odds were always against him in American football. Can’t blame him for trying, but from an athletics perspective it’s been so frustrating seeing that talent wasted. He’d surely have been a 70m man by now.

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    • Originally posted by LongStrider


      Why is it so bad that he was chasing a 'pipe dream' - do you believe something has to be 100% realistic to dream about / go for? You sound bitter that he left the sport in the first place. If I possessed such physical attributes like him, somewhat mentally fatigued (and very young) from training non stop to finish poorly at 2012.. to an opportunity to change my life forever, i'd take it.

      I believe he was a youth/academy player at London Wasps.. a rugby team.

      Apologies for chomping at this, but your first reaction seemed rather smug and almost happy that it didn't work out for him.
      It seemed to be a risk that didn't need to be taken though. Also you're saying the reason he quit athletics was because of his last placed finish in London 2012? His first ever major championships at the age of what, 21, 22? And because of that, he decided to just "give up" on something that he was really good at on the first occassion it didn't go his way, and then try his luck in a sport that he likely was a fan of, but had never played in any professional capacity before. That... seems like a *really* bad way to cope with a disappointment in your life, and a possible sign of a lack of fortitude in his character too.

      Sure, the rewards of getting into the NFL, even as a reserve, are very tempting and life changing, far more so than an entire career being a discus thrower. But all the same, the only Brits (or for that matter other nationalities) who have managed to make it into the NFL in its entire history have almost invariably come through the US college system first, where the NCAA Football system is in some ways *bigger* than the NFL itself! Regardless of his past playing school rugby with future stars of the english game Yarde and Daly, or his time spent at Wasps (thanks to you and Ursus correcting me on Okoye's rugby past btw), the gap between that and becoming a professional in the NFL is still astronomically huge.

      I mean, one of the greatest rugby players in England, Martin Johnson, was a huge fan of American Football growing up. Throughout his long and illustrious career he kept up with all the latest stats, watched the games on TV when he got the chance. Even flew off to the States to attend a couple of Super Bowls I believe. Heck I think he even went to an NFL team's summer training camp to see what it was like.
      But even he with his knowledge of the NFL never tried to actively play it as a professional because he *knew* that without the extensive training and practise of the various play calling and systems in the collegiate game, that he'd stand *no* chance to make in the big league.

      So what chance then, for a young Okoye, a guy who never played a minute of first team professional rugby, and likely hadn't played rugby for a couple of years at least by 2012, to go across the Atlantic and try his hand at getting into the NFL?

      If Okoye had decided to return to *rugby*, then I would have been far more understanding of his decision to leave athletics behind. He had a background in the sport, had even played for a couple of pro teams (though never in the first team), and he would have had a pretty decent chance of making a career there if it worked out. But to quit athletics competely and to go for the NFL? Really!?

      And now here we are 7 years later. Okoye tried his luck with the American system and basically got chewed up and spat out again.

      7 years *wasted* chasing a dream that was vanishingly small to begin with.

      Ursus brings up a good point. *If* Okoye had stuck around in athletics post-London 2012, he would have been very likely the first Brit to throw the discus over 70 meters, barring serious injury. Are you telling me that even if he didn't win a gold medal at an Olympic Games or a World Championships, that he couldn't have had a successful and *lucrative* career on the Diamond League circuit? Sure, those rewards aren't the pots of gold waiting for him in the NFL, but win a few Diamond League meetings, maybe even be consistent enough and good enough to win the overall title in a Diamond League season itself? Sure, he might not won enough cash to buy a couple of sprawling mansions with, but I'm sure he wouldn't be struggling financially either.



      Perhaps I was being too harsh in my initial reply to this news, but I'm sorry but I'm not going to feel overly sympathetic to Okoye's plight because, in my eyes at least, most of this was self-inflicted and didn't need to happen at all.
      Last edited by RunUnlimited; 28-05-19, 11:34.

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      • I've just checked and Okoye is now 27 so he is no longer that young. However, discus is an event where it is quite common for athletes to still be competitive at world level well into their thirties so I wouldn't rule out him getting back to the top leve although it may take a little time. Then again his initial rise was pretty meteoric.

        If I recall correctly, he had a place at Oxford to study Law. This was open for a few years but I suspect not as long as until now. However, I think he could still get a place somewhere if he wanted to and I don't believe there is an age limit to starting a Law degree like there is in medicine, so that may be an option for him to combine with athletics.

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        • Originally posted by trickstat View Post
          I've just checked and Okoye is now 27 so he is no longer that young. However, discus is an event where it is quite common for athletes to still be competitive at world level well into their thirties so I wouldn't rule out him getting back to the top leve although it may take a little time. Then again his initial rise was pretty meteoric.

          If I recall correctly, he had a place at Oxford to study Law. This was open for a few years but I suspect not as long as until now. However, I think he could still get a place somewhere if he wanted to and I don't believe there is an age limit to starting a Law degree like there is in medicine, so that may be an option for him to combine with athletics.
          That's good to hear.

          It's obvious that Okoye is an intelligent person, wanting to study Law is a pretty obvious sign of that. Hmm, a return to athletics an older, no doubt wiser person, combined with possibly studying a Law degree? Not a bad outcome that.

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          • Emma Bates living off-grid - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz8WC87LJ7I (3 mins)

            Not a bad environment to live and train in!

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            • Lol - Okoye didn’t quit athletics because he came 12th in an OG final!

              He’s a very intelligent guy and can have a successful non-sports based career. As far as I know, he’s never asked people to feel sorry for him - he made his choices, knowing where it might take him and he wasn’t all that far off making the cut, but made far more money in ‘failing’ than he would having stayed and being GB’s best (or even the world’s best) discus thrower. That hasn’t worked out and he can wander back over to athletics and potentially reclaim his position among the discus fraternity. Some fans’ hopes have been dashed but he’s done what he wanted and is back in the sport. I, for one, am happy to have him back

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              • Always wondered what Okoye might have been able to do in the shot circle too.

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                • My last thought on Okoye...

                  It'd be just like him to go to that low-key meet and launch the discus over 65 meters....

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                  • Steady on, Genzebe!

                    She's confounding my expectations by also running the 1500 in Rome (up against Our Laura).

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                    • Eurosport TV aren't showing the Stockholm DL live but you can watch it live on NBCSN via http://123tvnow.com/watch/nbc-sport-network-nbcsn/ . It's a trouble-free stream - no popups, no lag, HD quality.

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                      • Thanks for the link LuckySpikes. I'm still baffled by Eurosports current handling of the Diamond League so far this season. Showing the coverage a couple of hours after the live events occured. Makes no sense to me, unless they are doing it to try and make space on the schedule for the Giro De Italia and the French Open tennis that just started. Who knows, maybe it will change later in the season, but for now I'm not liking it so far.

                        As for the Stockholm DL itself, I know folks here are anticipating some top quality performances, especially with how the organizers have been bigging up how they've extended the long jump pit to allow Echeverria the extra leg room he needs if he does another jump like he did last year at the same venue. Plus there will be the prospect of Micheal Norman making his debut in a Diamond League 400m race, and also a loaded women's 200m featuring our own Dina Asher-Smith going up against Elaine Thompson and Schippers, so the anticipation for some explosive performances is going be obviously there. However, for anyone hoping for a potential LJ world record or a spectacularly fast men's 400m or women's 200m today (like I am!), will be likely thwarted by the weather expected in Stockholm this evening.

                        By the time of Dina's 200m race, scheduled for 8:30PM local time, it's expected to be just 11 degrees Celcius in the stadium and cloudly, with a moderate breeze probably adding both a wind chill factor and the possibilty of it blowing in an unfavourable direction too.... Not exactly ideal conditions for running real fast or jumping really far.

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                        • LuckySpikes
                          LuckySpikes commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yes, I do think it's because of the cycling & tennis being on. Athletics takes a back seat unfortunately but I expect normal service will be resumed for Rome onwards.

                      • We can also watch the post-TV window 10,000 in Stockholm on Swiss TV (expecting great things from Julien Wanders!) - SRF Zwei at https://www.srf.ch/play/tv/live?tvLi...6-43c288c01a10 - VPN or Hola extension needed. Their program runs until 9.40pm.

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                        • Laura Muir with a 4:05.37 jog around the track wins in Stockholm. No one else in the field had a chance against her and she won it at a canter.

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                          • In the men's long jump, far from it being the Echevarria Show, it's turning into a bit of a nightmare for the in-form Cuban. In the first 3 jumps, hes only managed a best of 7.95m, almost a full meter down on his 8.92m windy jump in his home country a couple of months ago. Leading at the moment is Swede Thobia Montler, jumping a 8.22m PB to lead from 2016 Olympic champion Jeff Henderson.

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                            • As I predicted earlier, the cold (and occasionally) wet weather in Stockholm this evening is affecting times and performances... Echeverria recovered somewhat with a last round 8.12m (from waaaay behind the board btw!), but he'll be disappointed with his jumping today.

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