When you're the greatest all-round athlete ever, competing against yourself can be a pain in the butt. Decathlon and indoor heptathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton speaks exclusively to Ato Boldon for IAAF Inside Athletics.
Eaton has won Olympic and world gold, and set both multi-event world records. But when you have done all that by age 26, how do you stay interested?
“The decathlon is unique, in that once you start doing it you realise ‘I’m not really competing against the other guys, I’m competing against myself’,” says Eaton.
“You’re always your own worst critic. You’re always the hardest on yourself.”
Eaton added another world indoor title to his tally in March this year, but narrowly missed out on breaking his own world indoor heptathlon record by a mere 13 points (that’s equivalent to 1.1 seconds of the 1000m) in Sopot.
“I didn’t get the world record. I was competing against my previous self. Almost like a ghost running on the track, and I lost against myself. And that’s a pain in the butt.”
He lives in Oregon with his wife, world indoor pentathlon silver medallist Brianne Theisen-Eaton. It can lead to some serious competition over the remote control.
"There’s one TV, my Xbox is hooked up, and I want to play some video games. But I know every Monday night at nine it’s not happening, because ‘The Bachelor’ is on.”
Get to know Asthon a little better by watching the full ten-minute interview below: