Ashton Eaton, the world record holder and two-time Olympic champion in the decathlon, has announced his retirement from track and field at the age of 28 on Tuesday.
In a letter to supporters written jointly with his wife, Olympic bronze medalist Brianne Theisen-Eaton, the couple announced their decision to retire on their personal websites.
“It has been 10 years since [I was asked to try the decathlon] (secretly I find that fitting) and it’s my time to depart from athletics; to do something new,” Eaton wrote. “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. Did I reach them? Truthfully I'm not sure anyone really does. It seems like we tend to run out of time or will before we run out of potential. That makes humanity limitless then, as far as I'm concerned. And I think that's inspiring.”
Eaton retires with the decathlon world record of 9,045 points, set at the 2015 world championships in Beijing. He first set the record of 9,039 points at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
He also holds the world record in the heptathlon to go along with his five world championship gold medals and two Olympic gold medals.
At Rio, Eaton became the third person ever to successfully defend an Olympic title in the decathlon as he tied the Olympic decathlon record.
The Olympic champion in the decathlon for years has been a way of determining the world’s greatest athlete, and Eaton has held that title since 2012. He never lost a competition over the last five years.
- Chris Chavez