Ashton Eaton: Breaking Down All 10 Events of Gold-Medal-Winning Decathlon

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Ashton Eaton: Breaking Down All 10 Events of Gold-Medal-Winning Decathlon
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

U.S. decathlete Ashton Eaton has only competed in two decathlons this year, and both were performances that will resonate forever.

Eaton’s first decathlon of the season was at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore., where he scored a world-record total of 9,039 points. His second decathlon, which concluded Thursday at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, scored only 8,869 points, but enabled him to achieve his most important goal, winning Olympic gold.

Eaton’s lower point total was a result of playing it safe late in the competition, as he preserved a comfortable lead, which at the end of the day was 198 points over U.S. teammate Trey Hardee, by focusing only on what he needed to do to win, rather than trying to improve upon his record and potentially risking injury or fatigue.

Even in playing it safe, Eaton just showed how incredible of an athlete he is, putting up the eighth-best decathlon score in history while distancing himself from even his nearest competitor among the world’s best decathletes. Each event played an integral and important role in how he earned gold.

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