The decathlon is a grueling, mentally and physically straining event that requires a dominance in ten separate track and field events. While most Olympic athletes excel in one or two events, a decathlete must be able to compete at an extremely high level in ten events, each one vastly different than the other.
In 1976, Olympian Bruce Jenner not only competed in the decathlon, but set the world record in the event, earning a robust total of 8,634 points. Jenner was a proud American athlete, and won over fans worldwide with his winning smile and charisma. Jenner dominated the ten separate events on his way to gold medal and a perch atop the podium, grinning all through the United States National Anthem, played on his behalf in front of screaming fans and athletes from all over the world.
The decathlon consists of the following ten events; 100m race, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400m, 110m Hurdles, 1500m, Javelin, Discus Throw, and Pole Vault. These events are vastly different, with the track events combining raw speed and power in the 100m, endurance, stamina and perseverance in the 400m, longevity in the 1500m, and a spry agility in the 110m Hurdles. These are all quite different races, and training for each one is tough enough, let alone having to train for all of them.
After competing on the track, Jenner had to focus on the events in the field. The Long Jump requires a certain amount of speed, footwork co-ordination, and the ability to fly. The Shot Put pits strength against technique, as does the Javelin. Discus Throw requires an athlete to have a certain wherewithal and raw strength, and the High Jump needs the ability to leap high and accurately, twisting and turning your body a great deal while in the air. The Pole Vault is perhaps the toughest discipline to master, as it calls for approaching speed, physical strength, and a presence of mind while twenty feet in the air to manipulate oneself while aloft.
Bruce Jenner performed admirable well in all of these events en route to his gold medal. Bruce Jenner gained a lot of notoriety and fame after his Olympic excellence, and had his face adorn the box of Wheatties cereal for quite some time.
Jenner faded out of the spotlight after a while, but he still does stints as a guest speaker, and motivational speaker. Bruce Jenner captured the heart and minds of millions in 1976, and his performance will never be forgotten. Jenner is enshrined in the Olympic Hall of Fame in recognition of his incredible feat.