Athletes by Conrad Hoyt January 24, 2020
One goal or ambition in life does not have to come at the expense of another.
For Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, starting right guard for the Kansas City Chiefs, this realization wasn’t just enlightening. It served as fuel for his lifelong goal: becoming a doctor in medicine.
“My goal and my ambition was to be the first ever football player in the NFL to graduate in medicine from a prestigious university like McGill,” said Duvernay-Tardif.
In May 2018, he did just this, becoming the first active player ever to become a medical graduate. Duvernay-Tardif graduated from McGill University Faculty of Medicine with a Doctor in Medicine and Master in Surgery (M.D., C.M.).
“I really try to give myself 100% to everything I do,” said Duvernay-Tardif, citing his desire to achieve an adrenaline-rush in everything he does.
Duvernay-Tardif was born in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, and grew up in Montreal. He started playing football in his teenage years, and then attended McGill University, where he played as a lineman for the McGill Redmen.
Duvernay-Tardif was named an all-Canadian for his junior and senior seasons, and in the latter, won the J.P. Metras Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding lineman in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (now U Sports) system.
McGill medical school grad Laurent Duvernay-Tardif introduces himself as “Dr. Duvernay-Tardif” as Kansas City offence announced vs Chicago in NFL on NBC @mcgillu @McGillAlumni @McGillNewsMag @McGillREPORTER @McGillMed @McGillMFOOT pic.twitter.com/0wQVq3MLnR
— McGill Athletics (@McGillAthletics) December 23, 2019
The McGill graduate was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round (200th overall) of the 2014 draft. The Chiefs, a first-class organization that has often been very good but not great, is headed to its first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Duvernay-Tardif will have the responsibility of protecting star quarterback Patrick Mahomes from the ferocious San Francisco 49ers’ defensive line, headed by defensive ends Solomon Thomas and Nick Bosa.
“This is the only time … I have a chance to finish the season winning. You’ve reached the top,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “It gives me goosebumps thinking about it.”
View this post on Instagram
Duvernay-Tardif is not just protecting his franchise’s star player, but most people’s pick for the best player in the entire NFL. With Mahomes as the leader, the Chiefs offense is as dynamic and electric as we have seen in the last half-decade, and Duvernay-Tardif is part of the line that protects it all.
The Canadian spread his curriculum over eight years, because of the lofty training schedule required as an NFL player.
Every offseason he would study, amidst the constant pressure of keeping his body and mind fit for the upcoming season. When 2018 finally came around, it was time for Duvernay-Tardif to pass the final exam, and pass he did.
View this post on Instagram
October is Cancer awareness month in the NFL! Considering that between 30-50% of all cancer cases are preventable, it is crucial to emphasize and promote the importance of early detection and risk reduction on and off the field. #crucialcatch #nfl #medicine #mcgill #october #chiefs #chiefskingdom #cancer #prevention
“I’m really a guy that thrives in stressful environments, and that’s why I enjoy so much the emergency room,” explained Duvernay-Tardif.
Duvernay-Tardif’s story is inspiring; he is a physical embodiment of hard work paying off and a reminder that physical and mental progress can occur at the same time. But more than all of this, he proves that we can all pursue several passions and perform them at the highest level possible.
Bonne chance dans le Super Bowl Laurent, we are rooting for you.