Going for the Black & Gold
Former U.S. Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom has the Steelers right where he wants them.
He's finally healthy and focused on football. Sure, he's a long shot to make the Steelers, but the challenge of competing for an NFL job is a dream come true for someone who already has attained one of his lifetime goals.
"My goal was to ski in the Olympics and play in the NFL since I was 8 years old," said Bloom, who competed in moguls competitions during the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics and was a fifth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2006 draft. "I have three world (skiing) championships on my desk at home and (competed) two Olympics. I'm blessed to have those, but I felt like I was ready for a big challenge. I knew that the NFL would do that."
Bloom is accustomed to overcoming adversity. He'll have to at just 5 feet 9, 180 pounds. He's hoping to catch on as a receiver/kick returner.
At age 15, he became the youngest male freestyle skier to make the U.S. ski team. A two-sport star, he won a gold medal at the 2003 World Skiing Championships a month after receiving freshman All-American football honors at Colorado.
Bloom became ineligible to play college football in 2004 when the NCAA ruled he accepted endorsements to support his skiing career.
After being drafted by the Eagles, Bloom suffered a hamstring injury, sat out the 2006 season and was released in 2007 without appearing in a game.
The Steelers signed him prior to their playoff game against Jacksonville last season but drafted a receiver, Limas Sweed, in the second round.
Still, following a morning practice yesterday at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Bloom sounded upbeat about his chances.
"That's the beauty of the NFL. That's why I'm here -- for the challenge," said Bloom, 26. "As an athlete, that's what I love. I love that challenge. I love that competition. To feel that burn inside of you like, 'This guy might beat me,' you get that every day in the NFL."
Bloom is well aware that the Opening Ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing is Aug. 8 -- the same day the Steelers play their first preseason game against the Eagles at Heinz Field.
"It was a tremendous honor for me to be a U.S. Olympian," said Bloom, who finished sixth in the moguls at the 2006 Winter Olympics and placed ninth in the moguls at the 2002 Games. "Those two years in 2002 and 2006, to represent your country and wear the flag, I don't think there's too many bigger honors that come with athletics. "I'll definitely watch this year. I'll be a fan. That's the beautiful thing about the Olympics. For the most part, it's athletes who really do love the sport. It's not for the money, not for the fame but for the simplistic beauty of playing the game. That's their Super Bowl. That's the championship right there every four years."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison
- Steelers notebook: Linebacker Timmons hoping for contract extension
- Chief justice revokes Feudale’s senior judge status
- Steelers plan to use smart pass rush against Seattle QB Wilson
- 5 hospitalized when family’s SUV runs off Route 51 in Rostraver
- Penguins 4th line is showing promise
- School lunch group hopes to revise rules it calls impractical, too restrictive
- Settlements in the Sandusky scandal up to nearly $93 million for Penn State
- 5 injured in Route 51 crash in Rostraver
- South Butler students push composting as a way to slow food waste
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances