The Giants were backed up near their own end zone. It was a cloudy, 66-degree day on Oct. 6, 2013, as running back David Wilson received the final handoff of the first quarter and sprinted to the right.

Defensive end Cedric Thornton and a host of Eagles collapsed the Giants offensive line. With nowhere to go, Wilson was forced to the end zone. Forward progress prevented the safety, but Wilson was driven back three yards by Thornton and safety Nate Allen.

"It wasn't like a real hard hit or anything," Wilson said. "I hit the ground and I went numb."

That was the last play of a two-year NFL career for Wilson, a 2012 first-round draft pick.

He had herniated a disc in his neck. About four months later, he underwent spinal fusion surgery. He returned for Giants training camp in 2014, but during a drill, he caught a pass and ran into the back of guard Eric Herman. That contact caused numbness in his lower extremities.

Doctors told him he needed to retire from football.

"He certainly expected for his career to be longer, but sometimes it doesn’t work,” said Giants coach Tom Coughlin via email. “He is such an upbeat young man. He is so positive.”

Perhaps Wilson's optimism was in part because he had another sport to pursue.

He is now competing in track and field in the triple jump, an event where his neck injury does not pose a risk.

While at Virginia Tech in 2011, he was an All-American triple jumper, placing sixth in the NCAA championships with a jump of 53 feet, 1.75 inches. (British jumper Jonathan Edwards holds the world record of 60 feet set in 1995.)

Wilson celebrated his NFL touchdowns by doing a backflip in the end zone. Among all participants at the 2012 NFL Combine, he tied for second with a vertical jump of 41 inches, finished second in the broad jump at 11 feet and ran the 40 in 4.49 seconds.

Even in a league that featured the most elite of athletes, Wilson stood out.

"I can’t say I've seen one that’s more that athletic than him," said second-year Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas, who was Wilson's college teammate. "He’s super athletic, super freaky. His balance is something I’ve never seen before. He’s just a very different, very gifted athlete."

Does Wilson, the 24-year old gifted athlete, miss football, now that track is his sport?

"Oh yeah, most definitely,” Wilson said, acknowledging that football remains his best sport for now. "But I do love competing. With track and field, the beautiful thing about that is that, when you’re on the track, it’s just you."

His singular goal is to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.

"That’s the absolute, only reason I’m doing track right now," Wilson said. “Competing this year is not a big deal for me, and my distances this year are not a big deal for me. This is just more to get in the feel and in the vibe of the whole thing before the campaign starts."

With about a year to go, if Wilson goes from a starting NFL running back to an Olympic medalist in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, it would mark a transcendent athletic feat.

But the 2015 goal of his coach, Jeremy Fischer, the track and field program director at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, is to correct Wilson's technique and keep him healthy.

"If I can do that,” Fischer said, "with his competitive nature, I’m not going to put anything past him.”

***

During a high school track meet, Wilson first saw the triple jump event and its curious-looking series of jumps. Intrigued, Wilson approached his coach, Veronica Harris.

"I was kind of laughing, like, what in the world?" Wilson said. "That was weird."

Indeed the triple jump is an odd event. You sprint down the takeoff board and then hop and skip before jumping into a sand pit.

Unlike the long jump, which really comes down to the base skills of running fast and jumping far, the triple jump is a complicated, fundamental-specific event.

"It can be difficult," Fischer said. "You have to have the right mind-set for it. That's probably why David likes it because it’s not just brainless. It's not mindless. There's a lot of cognitive thought that goes into triple jumping."

A good analogy for the race is skipping stones across a pond. If one takes a rock and throws it as hard as possible, it will take a big bounce, stop and sink. But if one wants it to go far across the top of water, one has to deftly skip it across.

Instead of just exploding from the start, Wilson needs to learn how to keep his horizontal speed through all three phases of the jumps.

Wilson first played football when he was 8, but he didn’t run track until his freshman year at George Washington High in Danville, Va. He began triple jumping the following year and proved to be a quick study.

The next year -- his junior season -- he was the Nike national champion. As a senior he repeated as national champion and set a meet record with a jump of 51 feet, 5.75 inches.

"The whole time I'm doing this, I was never practicing for track," Wilson said. "I would sneak down for track and get what I could in … My coach always wanted me to be at football practice or football conditioning."

The same thing happened at Virginia Tech. He was on a football scholarship, and spring football and conditioning was the main focus after football’s regular season concluded.

With football now in the rear-view mirror, his total concentration is finally on the triple jump, an endeavor he started training for in full at Chula Vista during late winter of 2015.

The first step involved losing weight. He weighed 210 pounds while playing for the Giants, and most triple jumpers are only 150 to 160. He weighed 192 in mid-June and wants to drop to 180 pounds.

To lose the weight, he does a lot of running. His weightlifting regimen focuses less on upper body, and it involves lower weight, higher repetition exercises than his football days. He eats balanced meals and a lot of fish but doesn’t have a caloric limit.

“(Track athletes’) metabolisms are huge,” said Fischer, who has a nutrition degree from the University of Wisconsin. "It's not as much diet. It’s more how you train them."

Relatively new to the triple jump, Wilson is still honing his technique. The final jump is determined by how well you do the skip, which is determined by how well you do the hop. Teaching that progression is a challenge.

"He’s doing really, really well," Fischer said. “I’ve taken him probably slower than he would like."

Wilson was jumping 50-plus feet but suffered a hamstring injury in late spring, delaying his progress.

In his first professional track meet at the Adidas Grand Prix on June 13, he jumped 48 feet, 1.75 inches. (Cuba's Pedro Pablo Pichardo won the event with a jump of 57, 7.5.)

Wilson had hoped to jump 53 to 55 feet at the Grand Prix, but that may have been an unrealistic objective, considering he had only been doing an eight-step approach in training — not the full 12-step approach executed during events.

In Chula Vista he’s working out with 2012 U.S. silver medalist Will Claye, part of a stacked 2016 U.S. field -- which also includes 2012 gold medalist Christian Taylor -- that will present stiff competition from which Wilson must emerge during the U.S. Olympic Trials on July 2016.

"The triple jump is so good right now," Fischer said. "Everything has to kind of line up."

Making the Olympic team would mean something extra to the patriotic Wilson. His brother, Ronald, was in the Navy, and if David had not received athletic scholarship offers for college, he said he would’ve enlisted in the armed forces.

When he received a phone call from USA Football informing him that he had been selected to the 2009 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Junior World Championship, the high schooler excitedly ran downstairs to tell his father.

"You could see my passion back then, wanting to represent the United States,” Wilson said. "I'm putting that same passion now in this other direction."

***

After the neck injury forced the retirement of the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, Wilson smiled as he sat down with Coughlin.

"The way he expressed it was, 'God must have something in mind for me. I want no pity,'" Coughlin said. "'I want no one feeling sorry for me. I am not going to be down about this. No one will catch me in that frame of mind. I am going to stay positive.' … I thought that was a wonderful thing for him to say and a great lesson for all of us."

Wilson watched Giants games last season, and he regularly texts Coughlin, Rueben Randle, Odell Beckham Jr., among other figures. New York remains his team.

"I had a great time playing football there," he said. "They handled the situation with such class … I'll always be a Giants fan.”

Wilson's 21-game Giants career featured its ups and downs. He struggled with fumbles initially but still averaged 5.0 yards per carry during his rookie season.

He made his most significant mark on special teams, leading the league with 1,553 kick return yards (a Giants franchise record) and two kickoff returns for touchdowns during that rookie season in 2012.

“David was the kind of guy that we felt would add very much in terms of big play potential," Coughlin said. "He had speed and maneuverability to make the big play, and that’s what was very important to us."


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A video posted by David Wilson (@4stillrunning) on

The best example of that ability occurred during a 52-27 win against the Saints on Dec. 9, 2012, when he totaled 327 all-purpose yards, including 100 rushing yards, a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, a 52-yard touchdown run and a six-yard touchdown run.

He totaled 115 rushes for 504 yards and five touchdowns during his two years in the NFL.

As Wilson jumps into his new sport, a link remains between his professional football and triple jump careers.

If he can make the 2016 Olympics, he likely will celebrate the achievement with a backflip, the same way he famously punctuated his touchdowns.

"I'll carry that over -- even in track meets,” Wilson said. "It's just my thing for the fans to enjoy."

After winning gold in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Bruce Jenner boosted his visibility even further by landing on the box cover of Wheaties. The idea of expanding a personal brand with cereal these days is still viable but it has to jockey for position with the interactive world of social media.

Strong performances in the Olympics translate into a more robust social-media following for athletes. How much more? The answer is in this segment with sports business expert Rick Horrow in "Beyond the Medals: The Business of Sport" on Universal Sports:

The U.S. Olympic Committee has selected Boston to be its representative in the international bidding to host the 2024 Summer Games. Boston's competition is expected to come from Rome, a German bid from either Berlin or Hamburg, and South Africa, which hosted the World Cup in 2010.

The last Summer Olympics held in the United States was 1996 in Atlanta, and that was just 12 years after Los Angeles was the host. Does staging the Olympics in the U.S. mean that the event will be profitable? Sports business expert Rick Horrow does a historical analysis in "Beyond the Medals: The Business of Sport" on Universal Sports:

Billed as an economic stimulus and Russia's platform for a return to its former status as a world leader, the Winter Olympics in Sochi already have the country in fiscal trouble.

While the Winter Olympics last year were impressive in terms of presentation and pageantry, making such an imprint came at a huge cost -- one far exceeding projections. In total, Russia spent $51 billion to host the games, well ahead of its projections.

Some of that spending isn't exclusive to the Olympics. The construction of dorms, housing, and even transportation infrastructure all go toward modernizing the region around Sochi and investing into Russia's future. But the spending seemed to get out of hand at times, such as when the Olympic ski jump facility -- projected to cost about $40 million -- wound up costing almost $300 million and embroiling one businessman in a corruption scandal.

Now, so soon after Russia basked in the glory of its Olympics, President Vladimir Putin is facing tough financial circumstances. TAccording to Business Insider, debtors are calling and wanting outstanding balances to be paid. Many investors are selling properties built for Sochi, and one bank is forced to write off a $1.7 billion loan taken out on a ski jump and resort investment that has only lost money.

Now, Business Insider reports that at least two top investors are passing off their bad investments to Russia itself, which will pay billions to take over the assets while managing them and minimizing the negative PR. But those costs get passed on to taxpayers, who will have to foot the bill.

Other investors are reportedly in line to cash in their bad assets with Russia, but BI suggests that Putin has to walk a thin line between pleasing those investors -- many of whom wield power in Russia -- and preventing unrest among taxpayers who are not getting the economic boon they promised.

Meanwhile, Russia will host the World Cup in three years, and observers are nervous about whether the country's flimsy economy can handle another major sports spend, and in such a narrow period of time. If Sochi is any indication, Russia will manage to save face -- even if it only delays the inevitable.

Lindsey Vonn is on the verge of setting the all-time record for World Cup skiing wins by a woman. She needs two more wins for No. 63 of her career, and she has two races this weekend in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria. To provide some context of her achievements, one of Vonn's sponsors, Red Bull produced this infographic:

Vonn won a gold and a bronze at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, but she missed Sochi in 2014 after tearing the ACL in her right knee twice. A documentary about her recovery and comeback from those two crashes, titled "The Climb," will premiere on NBC on Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. ET. Here's a preview:

Next time you watch world-class athletes battle for a medal in the Olympic Games, remember: Most of them aren't getting rich off placing among the world's best in their fields.

In fact, Olympians are facing tough times even getting to international competitions. A report from The New York Times reveals that restricted funding passed down to Olympians is forcing many Olympic qualifiers to pay their own way if they want to compete.

The solution for many? Crowdfunding.

That's how Keri Herman is keeping her skiing career alive. Despite being the top slopestyle skier in the world and ranking fifth overall by the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, Herman faces a financial crunch. For the past two years, the 32-year-old has seen her sponsors cut funding to invest into what she terms "cute little 15-year-olds."

The world's best skiers, she argues, have to figure out not only how to fund their Olympic dreams, but also to pay for international competitions, skiing gear, event rent.

"I’m forced to give away all this swag I got in Sochi to contributors," Herman tells the Times. "I want to keep this stuff, but I’d rather keep skiing, so it’s like, 'I guess I don’t need my Team USA hat.'"

Herman's story isn't an outlier. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association once worked to provide as much funding as possible to all competitors. But now, the organization is diverting the lion's share of money to the elite competitors.

In 2014 alone, skiers and snowboarders were left to fundraise about $2.5 million to cover operation costs. About $565,000 came from online crowdfunding, but the vast majority was provided by friends, family and the athletes themselves.

Athletes like Herman are forced to offer Olympic swag and other personal items as rewards to entice crowdfunding donations. But it still isn't an easy process -- crowdfunding sites take a large commission from the money raised, meaning athletes still have to live on the cheap if they want to scrape together a viable career.

The margin for financial error is thin enough that just a few donations be the difference between attending a competition or staying home.

The problem isn't limited to skiers and snowboarders, either. A number of U.S. sports organizations have pursued similar crowdfunding opportunities, including organizations for cycling, speedskating, archery, canoe and kayak, fencing, and bobsled and skeleton.

While the organizations say it's tough to keep those funds from athletes, they feel the money is better spent on sports science, training equipment and supporting the very best athletes.

Even so, athletes denied full funding are finding a way to excel. Five skiers and snowboarders forced to fund themselves won medals in Sochi.

But those athletes know the game is changing: Sometimes full funding requires more than winning.

Hall of Famer Chris Chelios holds the NHL record for most games played in a career by a defenseman with 1,651 and earned the Norris Trophy three times. Chelios won two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and one with the Canadiens. He served as captain for the United States team that won 1996 World Cup. He was also captain for the Olympic team in 1998, 2002 (winning a silver medal) and 2006. In his new book, Chris Chelios: Made In America, he explains why he remains loyal to his American teammates by not naming names of those who damaged some dorm rooms at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano.

On the morning the American hockey team was scheduled to leave the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, my U.S. teammate John LeClair pulled me aside to say he had fixed a "little problem" the boys had created the night before.

"The guys messed up the rooms a little bit," LeClair said. "But don't worry, I took care of it. I tipped the maids and it is all going to be taken care of."

By the time we arrived at the airport the vandalism was being treated in the media like a war crime. I blame the Canadian press for making it a much bigger event than it was.

My theory is that Canada’s poor performance at the Olympics had left Canadian reporters with nothing to write about. We were a target of opportunity.

The media was waiting for us in force when we arrived at the airport. It was a mob scene.

I had actually learned about the situation before LeClair told me. When teammate Gary Suter and I had returned to the Olympic Athletes Village the night before after being out with some members of the U.S. women's hockey team, we noticed that we were creating white footprints with each step we took as we got closer to our rooms.

"It’s not snowing,” I said. “What’s going on?"

Then I thought, Oh, no.

Most of the players had already checked out. We determined quickly it was fire extinguisher foam that we were stepping in, and when I looked inside the rooms I knew there was likely to be trouble in the morning.

Unquestionably, it was stupid for the guys to mess up the rooms. It was an embarrassing situation. But these rooms were not damaged beyond repair. The initial estimate of damage was about $1,000, and as the story gained momentum in the press the estimated damage grew to $3,000.

My U.S. teammate Jeremy Roenick has always insisted that someone could have cleaned up the mess reasonably well with a regular old shop vac. Some of the damage to the chairs happened during the tournament because they were not designed to be used by heavy, big-bodied athletes. Some players simply sat down and the chairs disintegrated beneath them.

As captain, I had anticipated the potential for trouble after we lost our last game. This was two years after we had won the World Cup, and the Americans were considered one of the favorites to win the gold medal. Unfortunately, we played poorly in the Nagano tournament. After claiming a 2–1 lead in our first game against Sweden, we lost 4–2.

After taking care of Belarus 5–2, we then lost to Canada 4–1. The loss to Canada was stinging because it had only been 19 months since we had beaten that group in Montreal for the World Cup championship.

You don't want to believe this when you are a player, but anything can happen in a short tournament like the Olympics.

When I look back on it, what I remember is that we simply never had a great game. Nothing went right for us. Nobody was playing at his best.

With the likes of Roenick, Mike Modano, Brett Hull, Keith Tkachuk, LeClair, and Bill Guerin, we should have been a dominant offensive team. LeClair was in the midst of scoring 50 or more NHL goals for three consecutive seasons, but he didn't score a goal in that tournament. That’s not to single out LeClair; it is an illustration of how nothing went right for us.

We were outscored 14–9 in that tournament, and if you don't count the Belarus game, we were outscored 12–4 by the teams with NHL players (Canada, Sweden, and the Czechs).

Against Canada, we just couldn't cover anyone in front of our net. The Canadians scored four goals by parking in front of the crease. The puck would wind up in front and a split-second later it would be behind our goalie Mike Richter.

We were just flat, and I don’t know why. Was it the wider European ice surface? I just don’t know. When you look at the roster, we should have played better than we did.

Some minor issues had cropped up. Because we had won at the World Cup, our coach Ron Wilson gave us plenty of leeway, even going as far as asking us how we wanted to play.

Now, despite what I've described about a give-and-take between coaches and players, a hockey team still needs structure. Teams should be run like the military. Soldiers and players expect to be told what to do.

But that certainly had nothing to do with the fact that none of us were at our best.

Some members of the media speculated that we lost because we spent too much time partying in Nagano. But that simply wasn't true.

"I was in bed by 8:00 pm eight of the 10 nights I was here," Hull told the media. “It was ridiculous the amount of time I spent listening to my CD player and doing crossword puzzles on my bed because I was bored stiff."

Maybe that was our problem. Maybe we should have lit up Nagano.

"You know, we weren’t exactly angels at the World Cup," Hull said.

Even after our poor start, we could have still won the tournament if we had played well in the medal round. But Dominik Hasek made 38 saves to spark the Czech Republic to a 4–1 win against us in the quarterfinals. The Czechs went on to win the gold medal, but we felt like we were beaten by a team that we should have defeated, no matter how well Hasek played.

The shame of it was that all of us had been excited about being at the Olympics. We wanted to be on the big stage. We wanted to play for our country. We wanted to kick the Canadians' asses again. We wanted the gold medal.

Before the tournament, Tkachuk said anything less than gold would be a disappointment.

"We thought we were going to be invincible, and maybe we were too high on our horses," Hull said.

LeClair said players were "embarrassed" that we were going home without a medal. And we were. We knew we were capable of playing much better than we did.

After the loss to the Czechs, the mood in our dressing room was ugly. Guys were frustrated, and after a loss hockey players will say things they regret.

Tkachuk was the angriest player. “This was the biggest waste of time ever,” he said. “I hate to be negative, but this is disgusting."

I can tell you that Tkachuk, the son of a Boston-area firefighter, loved representing his country and he didn’t mean those words quite like they sound in print.

Guys were frustrated and I suspected some of them might get out of hand that night.

Something needed to be said. I pulled aside Tkachuk, Roenick, and Guerin and said, "It’s bad enough how we lost. Let’s make sure no one does anything stupid tonight."

I still remember Tkachuk getting this sincere, serious look on his face and saying, "We would never. We would never."

Even though it’s been 16 years since it happened, I’m still not going to say who was responsible. That’s just not who I am. Teammates stick together. When it comes to something like this, you keep it in the dressing room.

But I can tell you that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and former NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow knew the entire story quickly, because one of my teammates provided details after the IOC threatened to ban us from Olympic competition for life if we didn’t reveal who was responsible.

Despite the pressure, I made up my mind that no one on our team was going to discuss what happened publicly or admit to anything. As captain, I was going to apologize to everyone for the incident and personally cover any damages. We were going to stick together as a team. I put the word out and everyone clammed up. I still believe today it was the right thing to do.

I wrote a check for $3,000 to the Japanese Olympic Committee to cover the cost of fixing up the rooms.

In my apology, I called our actions "inexcusable."

"I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the people of Japan, the Japanese Olympic Committee, the USOC, and to all hockey fans throughout the world,” I said. “Bitter frustration at our own level of play caused a few team members to vent their anger in a way which is not in the tradition of NHL/Olympic sportsmanship."

The only good memory I have of that mess is that Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz was the one man who supported our decision to not name the players involved.

My apology was made one day after Mr. Wirtz blasted the continuing investigation and the increasing criticism we were receiving over the vandalism. He compared the NHL's inquiry to paranoid Captain Queeg’s probe of the stolen strawberries in the 1954 movie The Caine Mutiny.

"They were eliminated from competition, which is the worst thing that can happen to a hockey player, and in their frustration, they broke some chairs," Wirtz wrote in a letter to Bettman and representatives of USA Hockey, the USOC, and the NHL Players Association.

Wirtz made it clear that he believed the investigation was essentially a witch hunt. The International Olympic Committee seemed to want to have someone burned at the stake over this.

"It seems like all you gentlemen are great fans of Jonathan Swift in that you use exaggeration for effect -- like the Brobdingnagians and Lilliputians in Gulliver's Travels," wrote Wirtz. "This incident is not the Black Sox scandal, but merely a group of dedicated NHL players disgusted in themselves [because] they did not do better for their country at the Olympics."

He was right. And he wasn't done writing.

"Please take the ball bearings out of your hands and let's get on with our work," Wirtz said. “You do not have the power to grant partial immunity or haul these players in front of a grand jury, and you do not have the right to invade their dressing room. Instead of castigating these individuals, why don’t you thank these young men for breaking their backs to compete in the Olympics and then come home to compete for the Stanley Cup?"

Wirtz said he would be proud to have any of us as his sons, including those who perpetrated the vandalism. He announced that he supported our decision not to single anyone out.

"We preach to our players that hockey is a team sport and that teams win championships, not individuals," Wirtz wrote in his letter. "It is only natural that players stick together. I would not respect them if they did not."

Say what you will about the way Wirtz ran his Blackhawks team, but he stood up for his players. Blackhawks Tony Amonte, Keith Carney, Gary Suter, and myself were on that U.S. team, and he had our backs. Fans were always mad at him because he wouldn't televise home games, but I found that you always knew where you stood with Mr. Wirtz.

He had old-school principles, and he and he didn't compromise those principles under any circumstances. I could relate to that approach.

Shortly thereafter, I received a personal check from Wirtz to reimburse me for the money I paid to cover the damages. The players responsible for the damages also gave me checks to cover it.

We got ourselves into an embarrassing mess, and somehow I ended up making a profit out of it.

-- Excerpted by permission from Chris Chelios: Made In America by Chris Chelios With Kevin Allen. Copyright (c) 2014 by Chris Chelios and Kevin Allen. Published by Triumph Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Available for purchase from the publisher, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. Follow Kevin Allen on Twitter @ByKevinAllen.

Filmmakers Christo Brock and Grant Barbeito had the good fortune to connect with Missy Franklin on a documentary project two years before she became an Olympic swimming sensation at the 2012 Summer Games in London.

They met Franklin when she was still a relatively anonymous Colorado high schooler. But they found a compelling narrative with Franklin being the next big thing and her relationship with U.S. teammate Kara Lynn Joyce, who is nearly 10 years older and served as mentor while trying to qualify for her third Olympics.

Touch The Wall follows their journey to London. A breakthrough for Franklin was her performance at the 2011 FINA World Championships in China.

Her dad, Dick Franklin, speaks about this at the :45 mark of this exclusive clip from the film, which was released Nov. 28:

As far as hosting goes, the Olympic tradition has been on unsteady ground as of late. The International Olympic Committee is chewing its nails over the slow construction progress in Rio, which will be hosting the Summer Olympics less than two years from now.

At the same time, reluctance to host the Winter Olympics is at an all-time high. Norway, which had been one of the leading contenders to host the 2022 Winter Games, withdrew its bid citing concerns about cost and poor economic returns on such a massive event.

That leaves the IOC under pressure to impress with the 2024 Summer Olympics. It had been rumored already that the United States was a frontrunner because the committee wants a reliable host to help the world forget about Rio's shortcomings.

According to an editorial in the Bloomberg Review, Washington D.C. should throw its hat into the ring.

Although the final decision won't be made until 2017, the District of Columbia is already prepping itself. The city's official bid committee is being led by Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, and a working list of selling points has already been crafted.

For the IOC, the committee will stress world-class security an infrastructure, a global population, world-famous sights and attractions, and its status as the geopolitical center of the world.

For the city itself, the sales pitch is tougher, but it is viable nonetheless. D.C. -- and through that, the United States -- could showcase itself as a world power, particularly at a time when that reputation might be flagging. By hosting a successful Olympics -- and doing it well -- America would earn praise from around the globe and potentially expand its political clout.

And despite growing concerns about the high costs of hosting an Olympics, recent cases prove that it's possible to turn a profit. In 2012, for example, London was able to efficiently host the games by completing its various construction projects under budget. In the long term, the city was able to boost its economy, particularly in terms of job creation and increased tourism.

Washington's committee contends that such an outcome is possible for D.C., and that the community would also be positively served by rallying around the Olympic Games.

Right now, the pack among U.S. host hopefuls is dense -- Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco have all declared -- so Washington D.C. is far from a shoo-in. But if it can sell itself as the answer to many of the IOC's current headaches, the District could become a frontrunner.

With one dream dashed, David Wilson has wasted little time in moving on to another ambition.

The 23-year-old former New York Giants running back, who was forced to walk away from the sport due to a serious neck injury, has got his sights set on the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Throughout high school and college Wilson was a bonafide triple jump star. As a prep he won the triple jump national championship with a Nike Indoor Meet record of 51 feet, 5.75 inches. At Virginia Tech Wilson finished sixth at the 2011 NCAA championships with a jump of 53 feet, 1.74 inches. That would have placed Wilson in the top 12 finishers at the 2012 Olympics.

Wilson, who left Virginia Tech after his junior year and was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, will return to Blacksburg, Va., to finish his degree and start training for a long jump career. And he confirmed to reporters that he's got his sights set high.

“It’s like playing football," Wilson said, via the New York Post. "You don’t grow up wanting to play in the Canadian League. Everyone wants to play in the NFL. That’s the mindset I have. I want to compete in the best meets. I’m excited to get back into it.”

Wilson said he never thought about competing in the Olympics during his football career, but after being forced to retire he turned his focus elsewhere.

“When I was involved in football, that’s all I was thinking about was football,” Wilson told For The Win. “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.”

Interestingly, Wilson isn't the only former NFL running back who is looking to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. Former Ohio State star Maurice Clarett has picked up rugby and has drawn some positive early reviews.

There's a long list of NFL players who qualified for the Olympics, most recently 49ers defensive end Lawrence Okoye (discuss) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jeff Demps (4×100 meter relay).

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