After 13 days of Olympic competition, we finally got a day at the track that featured some truly seminal track moments. Most of the track to this point has been dominated by a single man – Usain Bolt – which is well and good, as the Jamaican sprinter is absolutely immortal after winning his second gold medal, this time in the men’s 200m final. As there’s been a repetitive narrative of Bolt’s dominance amongst the mere mortals on the track, there was another story that stole the spotlight from Bolt – at least in Americans’ eyes.
If you’ve been watching NBC’s (awful) coverage of the Olympics at all, then you have likely been inundated by the heavily edited coverage of the Games in order to appease advertisers who have managed to shell out up to $200 million so as to be mentioned as “official Olympic partners.” While most of the Olympics advertisements have been full of heavy-handed inspiration and self-determinant sports shots of Olympic athletes making commercial cameos – everyone to Michael Phelps, Allyson Felix, and most importantly, American decathlete Ashton Eaton.
Eaton is the poster boy of sports endorsements for brands – well spoken, kind hearted, good looking, and the heavy favorite in the decathlon at this year’s Olympics. As most Vegas favorites tend to do, Ashton Eaton won the Rio decathlon event, asserting himself as the most well-rounded athlete at the Olympics, tying the world record for points in the event with 8,893 points. This is Eaton’s second consecutive decathlon title, and the first time any decathlete has managed to retain the title since Daley Thompson in 1984.
Eaton led the entire time during the two-day event, and really only experienced nominal challenges from French upstart Kevin Mayer (about as un-French sounding a name as any), when Mayer threatened in the 1500 meter portion of the decathlon, but Eaton edged him out, clocking in at 4:23.33. So Ashton Eaton stays golden, and his historic feat is likely one to help him stay in the minds and hearts of the American consumer for months to come.