Ashton Eaton on What’s Next for the World’s Greatest Athlete
DivineCaroline: Saying congratulations doesn’t seem like enough. Have you wrapped your head around the fact that you are the Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon?
Ashton Easton: No. I have to keep saying it to myself. You are a Gold Medalist, you are a Gold Medalist and even then I still don’t believe it. It hasn’t sunk in as of yet.
DC: Many are calling you the greatest athlete in the world. How do you respond to such a statement?
AE: I accept the title because it is part of the decathlon history. King Gustav told Jim Thorpe in 1912 after he won the decathlon and won pentathlon that you sir are the greatest athlete in the world. That is something we have carried over for many years in this sport. Anyone who wins this event that is the title you get.
DC: You are also the most trending person on Yahoo.
AE: Really? People are searching me? All I can say to that is thank you, people. (laughs)
DC: How are you going to celebrate your big win?
AE: I really just want to celebrate with my family and friends. There are a lot of people that have been with me for the whole time so being with them will be great.
DC: One person I know you want to celebrate with your mom whom raised you all by herself with not a ton of money in the bank. Given everything you both have been through to get to this shiny moment, is victory even sweeter?
AE: Yeah I do. My mom and I have been through a lot. But when you think about it, whose life is perfect? It is just really good because we did this together. I had a dream, my dream came true and my mom was there for me every step of the way. We didn’t do this for any other reason. I am so happy she is here to experience this with me. This would not be the same if she were not by my side.
DC: Your fiancé is from Canada and an athlete here in the Olympics. Is there any fun rivalry going on between the two of you?
AE: No (laughs). I am actually a huge supporter of the Canadian athletes and they are all really nice people. I will always support whatever she wants to do.
DC: Do you have a ritual before going out for a big race?
AE: No but normally what I do the night before is I lay out all of my clothes so I am 100% prepared for my race the day of. The only thing I want to think about the moments before a race is competing. I don’t want the little things to distract me.
DC: Have you looked ahead to the future?
AE: Yes, Rio in 2016 (laughs)
DC: Do you ever think past the games and saying what will you do when this is all over?
AE: What gets me psyched is knowing this is all there is. Track and field we don’t have another goal. Once you have it you then try for two. I am not thinking next steps or that far ahead.
DC: Speaking of looking ahead, when are you getting married?
AE: Next July. We did a lot of planning before coming to London so the next step is to walk down that aisle.