Olympic Preview Part 6: Ashton Eaton Should Take Home Decathlon Gold

Ashton Eaton decathlon world record holderWay back in 1912, Jim Thorpe won the first Olympic decathlon in Stockholm, Sweden.  Since then, the USA decathlon tradition has continued in earnest, with gold medal performances by Milt Campbell, Rafer Johnson, Bill Toomey, Bruce Jenner, Dan O'Brien and Bryan Clay.

Clay was victorious in Beijing four years ago. 

Now, there is a new ten-event Olympic superstar, his name is Ashton Eaton.

The 24-year-old set a new world record of 9,039 points in the US Olympic trials at Eugene, Oregon, winning seven events in nasty, cold rain, while breaking the American decathlon record of 8,891 points (set by O'Brien in 1992).

Eaton's achievement represented the first world record set at the Olympics trials since Michael Johnson ran the 400 meters in 1996.

In case you were wondering, Belgium's Hans Van Alphen holds the second highest decathlon point total in the world this year, with 8,519.