The Philadelphia Eagles Have a Storied History Tied to the Olympics

Updated: Apr 18

Sports fans are in for a treat over the next two weeks. Not only is the Super Bowl taking place, but the Winter Olympics will also be ongoing in Beijing, China.

Even though American football isn't an Olympic sport (and likely won't be for the foreseeable future), there are still plenty of connections between the Olympics and the Philadelphia Eagles. Here's a look at some former Eagles owners, players, and relatives of Birds players that have participated in the Summer and Winter games:

Alexis Thompson

The former Eagles owner was a forward on the US Men's Field Hockey team at the 1936 Summer Olympics. He only played one match, as the team was eliminated in the preliminary round.

Sam Francis

Francis was the first overall selection in the 1937 NFL Draft by the Eagles. However, he never played a game for them, as his rights were traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for Bill Hewitt and $4,000 in cash on February 15, 1937.

Francis made the US track and field team for the 1936 Summer Olympics, placing fourth in the shot put.

Clyde Scott

Scott was the eighth player overall chosen in the 1948 NFL Draft. He played halfback for four years for the Eagles, and was on the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship teams.

He went on to compete for the United States in the 1948 London Olympics. He won the silver medal in the 110 meter hurdles.

Ollie Matson

Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Ollie Matson joined the Eagles in 1964 and spent three seasons with the team, registering 608 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Matson was an Olympian before joining the Eagles, running track for Team USA. He medaled twice in 1952 at the Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, winning the bronze in the Men’s 400 meter and a silver medal in the Men’s 4×400 meter relay.

Frank Budd

Budd was drafted out of Villanova by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the 1962 NFL Draft and played for the Eagles in 1962 as a wide receiver.

Before joining the Birds, Budd was an Olympic athlete who competed in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, where he finished fifth in the finals of the 100 meter event and was part of the team that finished first in the 4×100 meter relay before being disqualified on a baton pass.

T.J. Jackson

Jackson played as a wide receiver and kick returner for the Eagles in 1966.

He was a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic team in the 100-meter dash.

John Carlos

Following his well-known track career, Carlos, a 15th-round selection of the Eagles in the 1970 NFL Draft, tried professional football, but a knee injury ended any hope for a future with the Birds.

Trey Burton

Trey Burton's Grandfather, Lawrence Burton, was a world-class Olympic sprinter and finished fourth for the United States team in the 200 meter final at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. He held the world record in the 60-yard dash at 5.9 second.

Trey is named after his grandfather. His real name is Lawrence Burton III, but picked up the nickname Trey for being the third of his name.

Herschel Walker

Walker spent three years with the Eagles (1992-1994), compiling 2,344 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.

Before the running back signing with the Eagles in June of 1992, he joined the US bobsleigh team four months earlier at the 1992 Olympics. Originally selected for the four-man team, he eventually competed as the brakeman, or pusher, in the two-man competition. Walker and his teammate Brian Shimer placed seventh.

Jeremy Bloom

Bloom was selected as a wide receiver by the Eagles in the fifth round (147th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.

As a skier, he is a three-time world champion, two-time Olympian (2002 Salt Lake City, 2006 Torino), and 11-time World Cup gold medalist. He finished 9th in the 2002 Olympics and 6th in the 2006 Olympics.

He is still the only athlete in history to both ski in the Olympics and be drafted into the NFL.

Marquise Goodwin

After being acquired in a trade during the 2020 NFL Draft, Goodwin opted out of the 2020 season with the Eagles due to COVID-19 concerns. The wide receiver is now currently a member of the Chicago Bears, and although he never played a game with the Birds, we'll still include him on this list.

Goodwin made the 2012 United States Olympic team in the long jump with a career-best (and meet-best) of 8.33m at the US Olympic Team Trials, a jump that would have been good enough to win the gold medal at the following Olympics.

At the 2012 London Olympics, he qualified for the finals on his first jump of 8.11m, but he failed to match that performance in the finals and finished in 10th place.

Perry Baker

Baker was signed by the Eagles in July 2011, but he suffered a knee injury that cut short his NFL career. He later became a member of the United States men's rugby team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. He scored a try in the second half of the team's final pool match against Fiji. The team did not advance past pool play.