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Super Bowl champion teaching Canadian university students the importance of nutrition

Super Bowl champion Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is an expert in both football and food.

He's also a medical school graduate who recently shared his knowledge with students at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S.

For Durvernay-Tardif, nutrition is one of the foundational building blocks that helped him reach peak performance on the football field and in the emergency room.

“I think nutrition is playing a bigger and bigger role in the performance of an athlete and the well-being of an athlete,” says the six-foot-five, 320 pound offensive lineman.

“It’s hard to perform both on the field and in the classroom, and I think that nutrition, hydration, sleep, are things that are getting more and more traction.”

That’s also what he’s bringing to StFX.

The university is implementing a program called The Circuit, which pairs nutrition education with access to the healthy foods.

“With all my partnerships, I try to have a message centred around health and health promotion and for me nutrition is such a big part of it,” says the native of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec.

Durvernay-Tardif won a Super Bowl in 2018 with the Kansas City Chiefs.

He then opted out of the 2020 season to return to Montreal to put his medical degree to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He’s now touring the country teaching students about making the right food choices.

“For me, it’s important to give back. I think as a student athlete you build a platform and it’s important to use it to promote things you believe in and that’s why I’m doing these visits,” Durvernay-Tardif says.

Part of his message is the connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind.

“The one thing I think that stuck with me was how adversity isn’t just independent to sport,“ says StFX rugby player Maddy Ross.

“It’s part of everyday life, so finding the proper ways to tackle adversity, whether it’s in your profession or on the field as an athlete, it’s essential.”

“I’ve followed Laurent’s career for quite a while,” adds X-Men football player Will Chapman.

“To be able to hear him speak in person was so amazing to hear the passion he has for both football and for his medicine, his medical pursuits.”

The 32-year-old Durvernay-Tardif played last year for the New York Jets but is without a contract for this upcoming season.

He says if he doesn’t get one he will be content to trade in his helmet for a stethoscope and tour the country motivating students to be the best they can be in sport, and in life. Top Stories

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