2012 Summer Olympics: Why the Decathlon Has Underrated Entertainment Value

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2012 Summer Olympics: Why the Decathlon Has Underrated Entertainment Value
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Bryan Clay, 2008 gold medalist, in the shot put.

Though the decathlon is not as highly anticipated as other events, it will be the most compelling display of athleticism at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

There was a time when the 10-event competition was the toast of the sports world. Back in the 1970s, Mark Spitz's seven gold medals in Munich couldn't get him on a box of Wheaties, but Bruce Jenner's decathlon win at the Montreal Games did.

Nowadays, NBC's Olympic coverage is live and nonstop, and the current broadcast schedule highlights the sprint events on the track and in the pool. Not only are they electrifying, but they are concise and allow casual fans to bounce from one event to another event with ease.

If you're feeling hardcore, however, the two-day drama of the decathlon offers fans an Olympic experience unlike any other. It won't be the talk of the London Games, but here's why it will be incomparably entertaining for those who give it a chance.

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