3 years ago I got released ...3 hours ago I ran in the Olympics I'll never stop believing in myself; soon I'll be at the top #758champion— Jah (@J4hvidbest) August 13, 2016
Thank you from the bottom of my ❤️ to everyone who has helped me along the way! This is just the beginning— Jah (@J4hvidbest) August 13, 2016
Sometimes football players can have happy endings to their athletic careers. 27 year old Cal great Jahvid Best was able to fulfill that in Rio at the 2016 Olympics by racing in the 100 meter heat for St. Lucia with the fastest man on the planet.
Former Salesian and Cal star #JahvidBest (second from top) races #UsainBolt in today's 100m sprint. pic.twitter.com/YVd8HvhmY6— Section925↗️ (@Section925) August 14, 2016
.@usainbolt wins his 100m heat with 10.07. #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/1Fvim2h0LC— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 13, 2016
It gave me a bit of a personal thrill to see Best not only race in Rio, but race in the 100 meter freestyle with the best in the world in Usain Bolt. Although Best did not end up qualifying for semifinal heats, he can at least carry the memory with him of being able to race perhaps the greatest track star of our generation.
All eyes and all cameras were on @usainbolt before the 100m heat.— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 13, 2016
Full race here: https://t.co/yEdKdMBuFv https://t.co/aoyAsIp54m
And with Best deciding to move forward with an international track career for St. Lucia, it can help him strive toward future track events.
“It’s a blessing man,” Best told a small group of reporters. “I only decided to try and run track last year. I had no idea I was going to end up at the Olympics. It’s just been a blessing. What I am using this for is just experience, this is the first time I ran in front of a crowd of more than 500 people at a track event. This is just a blessing for me, and I am looking forward to a bright future. I know I can master this sport like I did football.”
Best ran a 10.39 in the 100 meter dash, a little bit off of his personal best. Bolt ran a 10.07. Only .32 seconds off! Best did not advance to the semifinals.
(WARNING: The first video below shows that awful Oregon State video. Fast forward to 0:08 to avoid it and see his journey to become an Olympian.)
Jahvid Best is about to run for Saint Lucia in the same 100m heat as Usain Bolt pic.twitter.com/1zJQrYke2S— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) August 13, 2016
Best has had a hard athletic road post-Cal, suffering from an abbreviated pro career cut short by too many tough injuries. Jahvid returned to Cal to finish his studies but also was a football student assistant for the Bears from 2014 to 2015.
Now many pathways are open for Best. Can’t wait to see what our Golden Bear does next.
@J4hvidbest Congrats so proud of you bro!— Justin Forsett (@JForsett) August 14, 2016
Yeaaaaaa JAH I see youu!!! Only the BEST of Luck to u!!.. I know a lot of us couldn't be happier… https://t.co/nBjSdXACnn— Shane Vereen (@ShaneVereen34) August 6, 2016