University of Oregon triathlete Ashton Eaton is one of the brightest new stars on the Nike track roster, and promises to be one of the brightest medal hopes for the United States track team next month in London as well.
Eaton scorched both the track and the field last weekend at the United States Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, en route to tallying 9,039 points, a new world record.
Not only did the record solidify Eaton’s place on the US Olympic Team roster, it also earned him a fat payday from Nike to the tune of $750,000. Eaton blazed to a 4 minute, 14.48 second mile time in the final event of the decathlon last Saturday, to wrap up his victory and make a statement in the process.
For anyone, $750,000 is plenty of money, but for an Olympic athlete who makes very little to devote themselves to the sport which is not only their passion, but their ultimate goal, it’s incomprehensible.
Ashton Eaton is happy with his performance, and ready to hit the track in London, but doesn’t feel he has yet reached his potential:
The great thing about this is, and not to pump my own tires, but I feel like I’m not maximized yet,” Eaton said last week. I feel like I can still run faster, jump higher, which I think makes it special. Hopefully, going to London, I’ll be welcomed into the decathlon community.
Quote from CBS Sports interview.
At 24, Ashton Eaton is just scratching the surface of his vast potential and should make the decathlon as fun to watch as it once was when Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson were going head-to-head as Nike poster-boys in the early 90s.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.