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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nate Ebner's incredible story of living dreams and overcoming tragedy

It's safe to say that Nate Ebner is living a sporting life that most could only dream about. While currently in Rio as a member of the United States national Sevens team, Ebner also has the distinction of being a Superbowl-winning Safety for the New England Patriots.

Ebner's path into professional sports has been unique, as explained in an excellent short documentary that Bleacher Report have put together, tracking his journey to the top in both rugby and football, and highlighting the tragic loss of his best friend and mentor, his father, in 2008.

In a recent, pre-Olympics interview for The Dan Patrick Show, Ebner talks a little about the differences in the two tackle sports. Of course, no matter what side you're on, the first question is always: "Which sport is tougher?"

Certainly Ebner would be in a prime position to answer this and other questions regarding similarities and differences that exist. The bottom line is they're both tough in their own way.

Along with Sonny Bill Williams and Jarryd Hayne, few have had the distinction of playing multiple professional sports that require somewhat different skill-sets, so Ebner's insight is certainly worthy of consideration.

The Dan Patrick Show has a massive audience in the United States and is just another good way for the sport to gain visibility and recognition. Having a Superbowl-winning safety as one recognizable face for international rugby can only help. 

It would also appear that Patriots coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots are fully behind Ebner and his Olympic dream, showing their support on social media.

As it stands after day one at the Olympics, the USA are second in Pool A, with a tough loss to Argentina followed by a comfortable win against hosts Brazil. Ebner played well, scoring a try, but also picking up a yellow card.

Things don't get any easier though, with Fiji up next for the US team on Wednesday.

Below is the Nate Ebner feature that gives you a great insight into the man and his background

The 2015 Superbowl winning Patriots have been very supportive of Ebner, posting various photos to their social media pages, which have millions of followers - great for new audiences being exposed to rugby.

#SG3 showing his support for @ebs43. Catch USA Rugby at 12pm & 5pm ET today.

A photo posted by New England Patriots (@patriots) on Aug 9, 2016 at 5:33am PDT

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