- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Olympics 2012: Dan O’Brien finds new hurdles to clear
O'Brien won gold in the Atlanta Games in 1996 and with the triumph, laid claim to the title of world’s greatest athlete. Sixteen years later, O'Brien will watch with interest and lend his expertise as a commentator for Yahoo Sports, and no doubt remember some of the best and some of the worst moments of his career as a decathlete.
He got some reminders of that earlier this summer in Eugene, Ore., at the U.S. track and field trials. Now 46, looking as athletic as he did when he won Olympic gold, O'Brien went to the trials to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the inclusion of the decathlon in the modern Olympics.
“My hero was Jackie Joyner-Kersee,” O'Brien said. “I wanted to be just like Jackie, and Carl Lewis, of course. But there came a point in my life when I said, ‘I’m not going to be the next Carl Lewis, I’m not going to be the next Jackie, but if I work hard, I could be the next Bruce Jenner.’”
Now, he is among them.
Dave Johnson, O'Brien’s friend and former rival, and the other half of one of sports’ most famous ad campaigns, was there, too. It brought back memories of where it all went wrong for him 20 years ago.
Four years before the high of the gold, O'Brien experienced a very disappointing low.
The setting was Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans. At stake was a place on the 1992 Olympic team that would compete in Barcelona. O’Brien and Johnson were the top decathletes in the United States, and their rivalry for the gold medal was something even casual fans could get excited about.
O'Brien had passed on the lower heights, opting to qualify by clearing the bar at 15 feet, 9 inches. He missed on all three jumps.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
- John Wall’s practice session includes contact
- Chris Singleton falls out of Wizards' rotation
- Wizards can't sustain solid start, fall to Mavericks
- Kevin Seraphin gets some tough love from his 'big brothers'
- Wizards' Randy Wittman desires healthier team in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
By Tammy Bruce
- AP Exclusive: Man said to create bitcoin denies it
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- U.S. tasks Navy destroyer to Black Sea amid Ukraine tensions
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rutgers professors to Condi Rice: Go home, and take your speech with you
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again