Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee became the first American men to take home gold and silver in the decathlon since Milt Campbell and Rafer Johnson in 1956. Their combined point total is also the highest ever of any other country that had a duo win the top two spots in the Olympics. Eaton and Hardee were leading from the start of their 100m race all the way through the long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and finishing with a grueling 1500m run.
With different temperaments, Hardee animatedly shared his excitement and pride after every completed event, while Eaton maintained a more collected demeanor, if not just as excited. After the last of the 10 events, which all happened in just two days, both athletes showed a different, more exhausted happiness. Hardee willed himself across the finish line of the 1500m looking thrashed, while Eaton gave a grimaced smile, raising his arms in triumph.
Afterward, they humbly agreed that they are only a part of Team USA’s success in the event. It’s larger than just their own personal achievements. “We’re only a piece of the history since it all began with Thorpe,” said Eaton. Jim Thorpe was the very first American to win an Olympic decathlon in 1912 — 100 years ago. Eaton and Hardee continue America’s streak of excellence after Bryan Clay won the title in the Beijing along with 11 other American champions over the hundred years of the decathlon’s history.
Watching the Olympics on TV? Check out the BuddyTV Guide app’s new “2012 Olympics” quicklist — it puts all the Olympics TV coverage in the palm of your hand, organized by time and your personal cable/satellite setup.
(Image courtesy of NBC)