Starting on Wednesday and continuing on Thursday, Ashton Eaton is trying to win a second consecutive gold medal at the Olympics in the decathlon. Whoever wins the gold is traditionally dubbed the “World’s Greatest Athlete” and Eaton is hoping to keep that title. Last year, Eaton set the decathlon world record, with 9,045 points, during the World Championships in Beijing.
Eaton stands 6’1″ and weighs 180 lbs. The decathlon requires the former Oregon runner to be skilled in 10 events: 100-meter dash; long jump; shot put; high jump; 400-meter run; 110-meter hurdles; discus throw; pole vault; javelin throw; and 1,500-meter run. The first five events are run on the first day, with the remainder on the second.
Eaton won his gold medal in London with 8,869 points. Prior to that competition, Eaton he set the world record at the 2012 Olympic Trials, with a 9,039 points. Eaton then smashed the record in Beijing.
“I think the point of life is just trying to improve,” Eaton told Sports Illustrated last year. “Do something. Get inspired to do something and then try to do better.”
Eaton also holds the world record for indoor heptathlon with 6,645 points, a mark he set in 2012.
Here’s the list of points Eaton earned in each event during his record-breaking performance:
100-meter dash – 1,040 points (10.23 seconds)
Long Jump – 1,030 (7.88 meters)
Shot Put – 760 (14.52 meters)
High jump – 813 (2.01 meters)
110-meter hurdles – 813 (45.00 seconds)
Discus throw – 733 (43.43 meters)
Pole Vault – 972 (5.20 meters)
Javelin throw – 793 points (63.63 meters)
1,500-meter run – 829 (4:17.52)
If Eaton repeats, he would be the first athlete to do so since Daley Thompson of Great Britain did it in 1980 and 1984. He would only be the third person ever to win back-to-back gold medals as Bob Mathias of the U.S. also won gold in 1948 and 1952.