Add him to the list of African-American athletes putting in gold-glittering work at these Olympic Games, but definitely mention him among the great Olympians of our time.
Olympic decathlon winners are called “the world’s greatest athletes” because they have to compete in 10 different track & field disciplines and accumulate the most points at the end of a grueling competition. You have to be killer at everything from long jump to 100m dash to the javelin throw to be able to freak a decathlon medal. A jack-of-all trades and a master of most of them.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Ashton Eaton brought home the gold in his first Olympics in London in 2012 and he has reestablished himself as the supreme multi-faceted athlete on the planet. Despite the immense challenge of the competition, decathlons and heptathlons, which Eaton is also dominant in, don’t seem to get as much media motion as other sports.
However, the 28-year-old whose father is African-American and mother is English-American, refused to let that stop him from becoming the first man to win back-to-back Olympic medals in the event since Daley Thompson of Great Britain -- also a brother -- took Gold in 1980 and 1984.
In 2015, Eaton was named the Athlete of the Year by the International Association of Athletics Federation, track and field’s governing body, after winning Gold at last summer’s world championships in Beijing. Eaton pumped out a world record 9,045 points. Eaton first set the world record at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials where he posted 9,039 points.
This year, he battled a quad injury early in the season, but the Oregon Ducks alum still managed to rewrite the record books in typical American fashion here at these 2016 Rio Olympics. No American has defended their Olympic decathlon title since Bob Mathias in 1948 and 1952. Eaton’s 8,893 points total also ties Roman Sebrle’s record from the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Thursday’s total isn't close to Eaton's world championships total. It was, however, enough to give the world's most complete athlete another Olympic title.
The two-day conquest was extra special for Ashton as his wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton won a bronze medal for Canada in the heptathlon.
(Photo Credit: thetelegram.com)
If you don’t know this athletic badass, get to know him. He is a two-time World Champ, three-time Indoor World Champ, a world record holder and he’s racking up Gold medals and laying out his competition.
Word around the Olympic Village is that he’s retiring at age 29, so catch him in live action while you can.