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From rags to riches

Duvernay-Tardif+on+his+graduation+day+from+McGill+University
Duvernay-Tardif on his graduation day from McGill University

Duvernay-Tardif on his graduation day from McGill University

Montreal Gazette

Montreal Gazette

Duvernay-Tardif on his graduation day from McGill University

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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is not the average NFL player. Duvernay-Tardif is the first active NFL player to be a licensed medical doctor. As if being on a professional football team isn’t keeping him busy enough, Duvernay-Tardif flies back and forth from Montreal, where he works as a licensed physician, to Kansas where he works as a guard for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The best part is how he got there.

Duvernay-Tardif was born Feb. 11, 1991, in Mont-Saint-Hillarie, Canada and grew up in Montreal with his two parents and two sisters. His parents owned a vineyard outside Montreal where they sold wine at a farmer’s markets. Duvernay-Tardif didn’t have your typical NFL star childhood. In fact, he did not play a lot of football while growing up. Duvernay-Tardif said he never had time. His parents took him and his sisters on sailing excursions from Canada to the Caribbean when they were growing up. On the family’s voyages they lived off of rice and fresh fish they caught. The children’s parents homeschooled them while they were sailing the Atlantic, which makes Duvernay-Tardif’s journey to medical school just that much more of a journey. Their ultimate goal was to show the kids that they did not need money to live a happy life.

While Duvernay-Tardif said he still believes money isn’t everything, it is not stopping him from having everything. He just signed a $41 million, five-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Duvernay-Tardif started playing football when he was a child. He played hockey but eventually got too big for the sport. Someone suggested that he play football, which is how his career began.

Duvernay-Tardif was not great at football when he started, and he knew it, but he continued to play throughout his childhood. Duvernay-Tardif did not play football in high school; he instead chose to focus on medicine. He attended McGill University in Montreal, where he started balancing playing college football and pursuing a medical degree.

He graduated McGill University’s Medical School in May 2018. Duvernay-Tarnif’s NFL coach, Andy Reid, was a huge support for him while he was in medical school. Duvernay-Tardif said other professional football coaches said there was no way he could do both, but Reid encouraged him and was the main reason he joined the Chiefs.

Duvernay-Tardif is now a fifth-year offensive lineman with the Chiefs and does not plan on stopping either of his careers any time soon.

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From rags to riches