When an American Indian named Jim Thorpe won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, legend has it that King Gustav V of Sweden presented him the medal and said, “You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.”
(“Thanks, King,” Thorpe is rumored to have responded.)
Exactly 100 years later, at the 2012 Olympics in London, Oregon-native Ashton Eaton became the latest in a long line of American Olympians to win the gold medal in the decathlon. He had previously set the world record in the event at the U.S. Olympic trials, but as with every decathlete since Thorpe’s win in 1912, it was winning the Olympic gold that earned Eaton the formidable title of the world’s greatest athlete.
(Queen Elizabeth II was not, unfortunately, in attendance to present Eaton with his medal.)
Spanning two days and ten events, the decathlon is, and has always been, sports’ best objective measurement of sheer athleticism. And Eaton is so convincinglyRead More »from The world's greatest athlete reveals which major pro sport requires the most athleticism