Jeremy Bloom had a choice to make: Continue preseason training as a standout freshman wide receiver on the University of Colorado football team, or head to Park City and try out for one of six coveted spots on the U.S. Olympic Freestyle squad.
The decision wasn’t an easy one for the 19-year-old Bloom. Colorado has one of the strongest football programs in the country, and he was coming in as a heavily recruited receiver that even head coach Gary Barnett said would likely see immediate playing time in the team’s pass-heavy offense. But after a superior showing at freestyle summer camp in Chile, Bloom’s ski coaches told him he had an excellent chance at making the Olympic team. Hmmmm.
“I was thinking a lot on that flight back from Chile,” Bloom says. “Before I went down there, my plan was just to play football.” But this is an Olympic year. The Bo Jackson-esque Bloom, who is also a two-time all-state sprinter I know, I know — I hate him too ultimately decided to postpone football and pursue his Olympic dreams. “It really came down to the support of my football coach and teammates,” he said. “They all agreed that I should go give it a shot.”