Ashton Eaton Double Olympic decathlon champion retires

Eaton won gold in the decathlon in London in 2012 before retaining his title in Rio last August.

  • Published:
USA's Ashton Eaton, pictured at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is retiring from athletics play

USA's Ashton Eaton, pictured at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is retiring from athletics

(AFP/File)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Two-time Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton and Games medallist wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton said Wednesday they were both retiring at the age of 28.

The childhood sweethearts are one of the most high-profile husband-and-wife teams in professional sports and could often be seen roaring each other on at trackside during competition.

"I give everything to the decathlon. I did all I could. Thank u for making it the best time of my life. I'm retiring," the American Eaton wrote in a message on Twitter which linked to a longer statement posted at the website weareeaton.com.

"It's my time to depart from athletics, to do something new," Eaton wrote in the statement.

"Frankly there isn't much more I want to do in sport. I gave the most physically robust years of my life to the discovery and pursuit of my limits in this domain."

Eaton won gold in the decathlon in London in 2012 before retaining his title in Rio last August.

He also won world championship gold in Moscow in 2013 and in Beijing in 2015.

He is just the third man to win back-to-back Olympic golds in the discipline, following in the footsteps of his compatriot Bob Mathias (1948, 1952) and Britain's Daley Thompson (1980, 1984).

Eaton's retirement was greeted with surprise by French rival Kevin Mayer, silver medallist behind him in Rio.

"It's a shock," Mayer told AFP. "I thought it would be rather the end of this year. It's a little bit of a shame for me -- I was hoping to do another competition or two against him.

"It was always an inspiration to compete against him."

Canadian Theisen-Eaton, a two-time world silver medallist who won heptathlon bronze in Rio, wrote: "My passions and interests have changed.

"Track has given me so much, but it's time to retire. Thank you for the journey."

Theisen-Eaton, winner of the women's pentathlon gold medal at the World Indoor Championships in Portland last March, said she realised immediately after her bronze medal in Rio that she was ready to quit the sport.

"I was mentally exhausted. I have never been so thankful to be finished of something in my life," she wrote.

"I felt like I never wanted to do another heptathlon again. This feeling confused me.

"I took three months to completely get away. I didn't think about those feelings. I didn't want to make any decisions based on my mental exhaustion.

"But as the start of the 2017 season drew nearer, I felt more and more resistant to begin training... I no longer have the passion for track and field or the heptathlon that I used to."

The duo concluded their retirement statements with thanks for each other.

"To Brianne: I've never seen such a high level of strength sustained for so long. I love you. What now??" Eaton wrote.

Theisen-Eaton added: "Last but not least (thanks) to my husband who I know I wouldn't have been able to do this without."

Top 3

1 Rally of Portugal World champion Ogier storms to tournament leadbullet
2 Katinka Hosszu Hungary swimming stars revolt against national federationbullet
3 Ronaldo Real Madrid forward leads club to 33rd La Liga titlebullet

Sports