Virtual Keynote Speaker
COVID-19 Doctor, NFL Player
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is one of the more unique players in the NFL today. He is one of the only people known to ever play in the league with a medical degree. Duvernay-Tardif played college football in Canada at McGill University and also graduated from their medical school. For his tremendous accomplishments, he was made a Knight of the Order of Quebec in 2019. Duvernay-Tardif also volunteered his medical expertise to help in Canada during the coronavirus pandemic. His meteoric rise has been so remarkable that the Kansas City Star called him “the most interesting man in the NFL.”
On the field, Duvernay-Tardif is a valuable offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs originally selected him in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Duvernay-Tardif became just the tenth player from a Canadian university to be chosen in the NFL Draft. He became a starter for the Chiefs during his second season. In 2019, he played in 14 games and helped Kansas City win Super Bowl LIV.
And for good reason: not only does Laurent Duvernay-Tardif play for the Kansas City Chiefs, he is also studying medicine at McGill University. In May 2018, he graduated with his doctorate in medicine, earning one of the biggest accomplishments of his life.
In May 2014, at the age of only 23, the Mont-Saint-Hilaire native became the 10th Canadian to be drafted by an NFL team from a Canadian university. In his second season in Kansas City, the six-foot-five-inch 320-pound player earned the position of right guard on the team.
Passionate about both football and medicine, Laurent turned a deaf ear when counsellors and family members advised him to choose between sports and studies. And it proved to be the right choice! “It’s all about balance. Don’t give up on your passions!” he tells the young people he meets at the many talks he gives at schools.
During the spring of 2020, Laurent lent a helping hand during the Covid-19 pandemic by working as an orderly at a long term care facility in the Montreal area. In July 2020, Laurent announced that he was opting out of the 2020 NFL season due to Covid-19, becoming the 1st player of the 2020 NFL season to announce his decision to opt-out.
Already very involved in his community despite his grueling schedule, Laurent is driven by the desire to get young people excited about physical activity and art as well as promoting balance between sports, arts and studies. In 2017, his longtime girlfriend Florence and him cofounded the Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Foundation, its mission being to encourage sports, arts and studies for kids.
An avid sailor—he spent many summers as a camp counselor—and fan of contemporary art, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is as charismatic as he is physically imposing, and his future holds great promise.
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