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Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Bruce Jenner: Ashton Eaton Greatest Decathlete Ever

When Bruce Jenner won the gold medal by setting a world record in the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, the title of  “World’s Greatest Athlete” catapulted Jenner into iconic status.

“The image of Jenner that forever endures is a painting on the front of a (Wheaties) cereal box,” wrote Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal. “The perfect athlete for the perfect food.”

After his victory Jenner did everything in his power to capitalize on his new-found celebrity: t-shirts, dolls, board games and various other marketing schemes sprung up across the country.

“Nobody has milked one performance better than me – and I’m damn proud of it,” said Jenner.” His stepdaughter Kim Kardashian may have something to say about that.

In any case, the same celebrity status will not be accorded to the newly crowned “World’s Greatest Athlete,” Ashton Eaton of the United States.

With a dominant performance, Eaton became just the third American sprinter to claim the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon.  Fresh off setting a world record of 9,039 points at the trials, Eaton won emphatically with a score of 8,869 points.

Despite claiming gold in an event that encompasses 10 different events, Eaton was still hesitant to give himself the ultimate label.

“For me to call myself the world’s greatest athlete, I’d have to really, really amaze myself in every single event,” Easton said.

Jenner saw it differently.

“Eaton is the greatest decathlete we have ever produced,” Jenner said Tuesday during an appearance on the Today show. “I’ll take any athlete you know, any sport, training for 10 years – he cannot do what Ashton Eaton (did). The most phenomenal athlete I have ever seen.”

Even self-proclaimed living legend Usain Bolt paid homage to Eaton when asked who is the world’s greatest athlete.

“I’m a great athlete,” Bolt said, “but to do 10 events, especially the 1,500, I’ve got to give it to him.”

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