The thing I like about decathlon is also the thing I dislike: It’s the maximum challenge, but also the maximum frustration.
I remember growing up, having sports to go to, having recess, those were the things I looked forward to. Yes, I’m an athlete, but I had buddies who weren’t, and they looked forward to it, too.
I always try to do better than I have before, so I think it would be good to break the world record.
I won’t back down. I get a satisfaction from being tested and defeating the test.
Universities are like a utopia in a way, because you’re mentally stimulated, you’re challenged, and you have a lot of young, creative minds wanting to do new things, different things. Better things.
That is when the crowd really lifted me. That last 600 meters I was not running with my own legs. It was incredible.
I think a challenge for myself is to see how many times I can get above 9,000. That would be a good challenge.
There’s never going to be a decathlon that you’re going to have 10 events that your satisfied with. You’re always, always going to be dissatisfied in something, and that always draws you back to try to retry that the next time you do a decathlon. It’s like you go for the perfect 10.
I want to see where I measure up against everyone in the world and everyone who has ever competed in the sport, and there’s that innate sense of wanting to challenge myself. I’m competitive in all aspects.
The great thing about this is, and not to pump my own tires, but I feel like I’m not maximized yet. I feel like I can still run faster, jump higher, which I think makes it special. Hopefully, going to London, I’ll be welcomed into the decathlon community.
I’m not maximized yet.
The desire definitely comes from within. There are only a few people who make it to this level and those are the ones who have that innate desire.
When I see my mom in the stands, it always pushes me to succeed.
My goal in Korea is to win. There’s no timetable when to set the American record.
Know that even when you want to give up or throw in the towel, in the end it will all be worth the hard work.
After asking questions about current recovery techniques, the conversation prompted me to ask myself, ‘Why does it feel good after running to pour a bottle of water over your head?’ I don’t know the physiological answer, but the fact that it does feel better makes me perform better.
When I’m on the track, I like hearing the fans cheer me on.
I was one of those kids who, everything I tried sports-related, I liked.
I don’t have one specific person that I think is the most athletic person.
You see somebody on a football field make a great, athletic 70-yard run, but the athleticism is immeasurable. It’s undoubtedly athletic, but compared to somebody else who did something else, how do you compare it? That’s the great part of track and field. It’s a test, but with results that you can compare to others.
I was never interested in golf until someone brought up the Get Golf Ready program to me.
Track and field is tougher physically, but golf is tougher mentally.
I haven’t played a full round of golf yet, but I did make two pars my first time out on a golf course.
Nike came to me and said, ‘We’re interested in the decathlon and interested in seeing if we can help you get as close to 10,000 points as we can.’
My key to dealing with stress is simple: just stay cool and stay focused.
I think that titles are for, I don’t know, books and stuff. I just like doing what I’m doing.
I actually like indoor track and field more than outdoor.
If I won a second Olympic title, maybe I would be tempted to go after a third.
I’ve got to do Gotzis at least once.
You’re just constantly battling this thing that is telling you, ‘I don’t think I can do it.’ I think we all have it. When you’re fresh and alert, you can easily put those doubts down. But when you’re tired, they easily come up to the surface.
I’m very happy to have set a world record in Tallinn. Estonians sure do love athletics and combined events!
The opportunity to represent your country at the Olympic Games is earned, not given.
Every day, we as athletes face several challenges during the training process, and it is imperative that we approach each situation carefully and with continued precision.
I must refine my training every day to give myself the best opportunity to achieve my dreams during the Olympic Games in Rio.
It would be fantastic to spend your whole life trying to pursue something and then finally, at the last moment, you achieve it. You know, instead of getting it in the middle of the pursuit and spending the second half giving it meaning.
The world record is like you we went to the theater to see this movie, and it was really good, and it had an unexpected ending, and you left the theater saying, ‘Wow, that was such a great movie.’
The Olympic gold was like going to a theater and seeing a movie that had the ending you expected. But you left the theater thinking, ‘You know, that was a good movie.’
I would like to have a decathlon where all of my throws are really consistent and set the tone. That I’m good all-around, not just a speed and jump guy.
If I have to run to put myself in the hospital, if I have to run that hard, that’s how hard I’ll have to run.
I thought it’d be cool to start my own university, in a way.
That’s what has always been good about track. The goal is very clearly defined: Try to win. Get the gold medal. And I’m able to put my energy toward that.
The first pet I remember was a cat called Baby. She would sleep with me, and I could call her from anywhere, and she would come running.
In high school, I had a gold 1992 Ford Explorer. It was a gift. I used to have a terrible habit of locking the keys in the car when I used leave the car running to help it start on a cold morning. I think the local locksmith became used to me calling him.
The first sport I played was baseball. I remember being on the Little League team and someone pitching the ball to me for the first time. I was ready to no longer hit the ball off the tee, and an adult pitched it to me underhand.
My local newspaper, the ‘Bend Bulletin,’ interviewed me while I was at high school after I had just signed with the University of Oregon. I remember I wore a University of Oregon hooded sweatshirt, and they took a picture of me in the long jump pit. I was freezing!
In our marriage, the success of our athletic dreams comes before everything. ‘Hey do you want to watch a movie?’ ‘No, I have a hard workout tomorrow.’
You try to figure out the best way to throw the shot put, or the perfect way to long jump, and you don’t ever get it. You just chip away, chip away, chip away as time goes on.
I dated my first girlfriend for, like, two weeks in high school, and when you’re in high school, it’s so much different. I wanted to hang out with my friends and play video games and play paintball and do guy stuff. Girls were never around for my friends group.
As you get older and gain more experience, you’re able to do multiple things. You don’t necessarily have to focus so hard on your performance in order to have a good one.
The decathlon is exclusive company.
I’m just happy to be part of the family, the decathlon family.
To be with the other two-time gold medalists is great, but it’s great to just be a decathlete.
I guess the decathlon’s never an easy walkthrough.
We are competing against ourselves.
It has been a pleasure being in the same era. I mean, the guy’s last name is Bolt, and he’s the fastest man ever. You can’t write a story like that, and so to be in the pages in there is nice.
The questions to ask are, why was the decathlon so popular before, and what happened to make it fade? I notice a lot of things in general tend to follow that up-and-down trend.
As an athlete, you really see a lot of the Instagram paradigm. Where it’s just like, ‘Me! Me! Me!’ When you realize you can ‘Give, Give, Give,’ it’s very interesting, and it’s good.
It’s about not going to the well all the time. The body has limits. The mind has limits, too.
I’m a ‘what’s next?’ guy. I don’t know what that is, but I’m excited to find out and put the same kind of energy into it as I put into track.
I wouldn’t have gone to a Division I school if I didn’t have scholarship help. We couldn’t afford it.
As athletes, we love to say, ‘Just one more; I’m going to figure it out on this next one.’ It’s tough to pull back the reins and do what is smart physically, listening to your body and always ending a workout or session feeling like I could have done more.
When I’m later in the competition, I get antsy. I’m seeing everybody else go and achieve things. It’s like I’m just twiddling my thumbs.
We all understand that this isn’t about me beating you and you beating me. It’s about each individual competing against himself.
What you do is you’re using the other competitors to push yourself, because it’s so hard to push yourself.
The strong ones are the ones who realize that having a bad training day, those types of days are necessary.
That’s what we want people to do. Select a goal or gold and go after it.
What I feel like I’m doing is showing people what is humanly possible when someone commits their entire life to something.
I would say 90 percent of the stuff we do is technical anyway. If you look at a two-hour training day, 12 minutes are probably spent running or gaining fitness.
I don’t set goals. Competing with a number in your head can be limiting, and I don’t know what my capabilities are yet.
Even though decathlon is really long, there’s always something different to look forward to, which is great for mental stimulation.
I could never be a distance runner, because I can’t run for more than ten minutes. There aren’t enough iPod gigabytes in the world to make that worth it for me.
My biggest competitor? Myself, mentally.
Now that I’m older, I see the benefits of having free time to release energy.
I think what’s at risk is kids losing touch with being a kid. Being a kid is being defined differently than it was when you didn’t have all this stuff you could put in front of your face.
I haven’t seen kids in years who have holes in the knees of their jeans. Now you go buy jeans with holes in them.
I’m not much of a gym rat; I’d rather be running, but if it enables me to run faster, then I guess I can tough it out.
I compete against myself in competitions anyway, so I train against myself in practice.
From the age of seven, I basically started practicing my hand-eye and foot coordination, balance, strength, endurance, discipline, and mental toughness three days a week until I was about 15.
I’m a second-degree black belt.
A perfect scenario would be to feel like you’ve just started on every event.
The more you do, the more attrition you experience.
Rather than realizing immediate physiological gain, the challenge is more about reducing the mental attrition from the two days to maximize each event.
The heptathlon world record is nice, but the decathlon is the event. I think the heptathlon is more like a practice. There is something completely different about the decathlon.
From the time I started the decathlon, I’ve loved the event. I didn’t know why. I still don’t know why.
It’s hard for me to speak of my own development. I’m the one behind the steering wheel, and it is easier to see where the vehicle is going when you are looking at it. For me, it feels like I have been doing the same thing all along.
Coping with injuries is always difficult for athletes because all we want to do is, basically, to have our best performances unhindered.
When you have an injury, you are hindered a little bit.
When I was a junior and an up-and-coming athlete, I don’t think I looked to anyone for inspiration. I was so busy trying to improve myself and learning these new events and learning about the decathlon in general that I didn’t really have time to focus on anyone else.
My mom and I have been through a lot. But when you think about it, whose life is perfect? It is just really good because we did this together.
I had a dream, my dream came true, and my mom was there for me every step of the way. We didn’t do this for any other reason. I am so happy she is here to experience this with me. This would not be the same if she were not by my side.
I am actually a huge supporter of the Canadian athletes, and they are all really nice people.
The only thing I want to think about the moments before a race is competing. I don’t want the little things to distract me.
I can’t remember when I wasn’t running around doing some sort of a sporting activity.
When you’re doing any event on an elite level, you’re in tune with your body.
If somebody wants me to do something I’ve never done, I can do it more easily because of all of the years of sports I’ve played.
I do the whole 10-event thing, but at the end of the day, it’s still track and field.
When I was growing up, I used to watch ‘Power Rangers’ and ‘Ninja Turtles.’ It seemed like every movie had someone doing martial arts in it, so I would go around punching and kicking trees.
My mom took me to a taekwondo class, and I fell in love. I was seven years old.
Even if you see a great performance, it’s not always great getting there. There are injuries… Intrinsically or unconsciously, people understand that – people see those performances, and they know there are stories behind that.
To win two Olympic golds in a row like Daley Thompson is very special. One day, I’m going to have to meet Daley, shake his hand, and thank him for giving me something to chase after.
For me, I want 10 perfect events.
If I really felt like I was the world’s greatest athlete, I’d get 10 great events. But I know that’s pretty much not possible. That’s the toughness of the decathlon.
As a decathlete, you take pride in saying, ‘The elements, I’m not going to let them affect me. It’s just the 11th event. Another thing you have to fight through.’
I think watching multi-events is much worse than competing. Especially when you have vested interests because you go through the emotional ups and downs.
I think when the competitions come, I am always ready to go. I don’t think I ever have not been.
I am not the one who has to try to beat me.