The Official Site of Bryan Clay

Updates

Fri, Aug 22nd 2008, 09:00

Bryan Clay wins Olympic Gold in the Decathlon

nbcolympics.com

BEIJING - In the mind’s eye, they are now as they were then, in Rome in 1960, Rafer Johnson and C.K. Yang, the American and his very good friend from Taiwan, Johnson somehow summoning the will to prevail in the decathlon, the all-around test that remains the Olympic measure of a man.

There, too, is Bruce Jenner in 1976 in Montreal, the all-American icon waving the Stars and Stripes in triumph in the Bicentennial year.

And in Atlanta in 1996, Dan O’Brien, four years after the pole vault disaster at the U.S. Trials, a champion at last.

In Beijing on Friday night, Bryan Clay inscribed his name among the legends. He won the 2008 Beijing Games decathlon.

Johnson and Jenner and O’Brien. Milt Campbell, Bob Mathias and Jim Thorpe.

And, now, Bryan Clay, 5-11, 185, kinda squatty, raised in the Hawaiian islands, now a man of the Southern California sprawl.

Exhausted, dead last in the 1500m, the final event of the ten in the event.

And Olympic champion — his effort in the first nine events so strong that no one was going to catch him.

“I just want the Wheaties box,” Clay said afterward with a shy smile. “Put me on the Wheaties box.”

Clay finished with 8,791 points. Andrei KRAUCHANKA of Belarus came in second, with 8,551. Cuba’s Leonel SUAREZ came in third, with 8,527, a national record. (Full results)

“That’s not exactly how I planned it out,” Clay said of the 1500m, adding a moment later, “This was the hardest decathlon of my life.”

It’s no secret why Clay won.

“Bryan Clay,” Krauchanka said, “is good. Very good,” he said, pointing to his temple, meaning: Bryan Clay is mentally tough.

Clay had won silver in the decathlon at the Athens Games in 2004, behind Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic, his very good friend.

Since then, Clay’s journey has seen high highs and low lows.

In 2005, for instance, at the world championships in Helsinki, Finland, he won gold in the decathlon.

In 2007, though, at the worlds in Osaka, Japan, he was hurt and withdrew after the high jump.

All of it has made him that much mentally tougher. “An absolutely amazing journey,” he said late Friday night.

This year, Clay has been healthy. And a healthy Bryan Clay is an incredible athlete.

At the U.S. Trials, he scored 8,832 points, breaking O’Brien’s Trials record, 8,726, set in 1996.

That score was not only Clay’s personal best - it was the best by an American in 16 years and the best in the world in four years.

Here in Beijing, he never trailed.

Clay kicked off the Olympic decathlon in conditions very much like the mess in which he dominated in Helsinki. In a pelting rain, he ran the 100m in Thursday morning’s best time, 10.44 seconds.

The decathlon runs morning and night over two days.

Bryan said after the final event, ““I’ve been telling people that I’m in the best shape of my life. I really am. I’ve been training incredibly hard. Training’s been going really well. You might not be able to tell by some of the results, but when you take into account everything we’ve had to go through the last two days, I think I did well. I’m very pleased with my score, of course I’m pleased with the medal and the title that comes with the medal. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have worked for something for so long, and finally accomplish it, and have my dreams come true. I’m hoping to continue to do this through 2012. I hopefully can get another medal. I don’t know if anybody’s got three medals at the Olympic Games. That’s maybe another goal.”

Continue reading…

Decathlon photo gallery

ESPN.com: Clay, Jamaican team have nothing in common? Look at their paths to gold

Wall Street Journal: Bryan Clay takes decathlon gold


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Comments

Mike Kai | 2 weeks, 5 days ago

call me when you can to speak at our church. Hope Chapel West O’ahu

Cindy Miyashiro | 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Way to go Bryan!!!! Congratulations!!!!!

Janelle Chua | 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Congratulations Bryan! I’m glad to see Christian athletes excel in their field. Glory be to God!

Grace | 2 weeks, 5 days ago

CONGRATULATIONS on winning the gold medal. I just watched the medal ceremony. You received the medal with such honor and grace…it brought tears to my eyes.

Ortiz Family | 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Congratulations from the Ortiz Family ( Ian’s Family) Ian is sooo proud of you! You should have heard him when I called to tell him you won the gold. You showed that with belief in the Lord no goal is out of reach. Your family must be so proud of you. Can’t wait for you to come back home so we can be there to cheer you on.
GOLD..........worth all the pain.

Jose Vargas | 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Keep it up Bryan, stay focused!

Jose Vargas

Shawn | 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Congratulations Bryan!! It is awesome to see you take the gold. All of your hard work paid off big time. You will still be in our prayers for rest and recovery after all of your hard work. God bless you!

Jon, Yvette and Jake Walker | 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Bryan,
We are so pround to have you representing our country!! What an amazing experience…. Congradulations to you! ; )
Jon, Yvette & Jake

Hank Warrington | 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Bryan, If I could type all that I want to say to you right now it would take 4 pages of your website and 2 boxes of Kleenex. Thanks for making me stay up all night. Thanks for the endless hours of grueling work outs you’ve done. (Remember the 30/30’s?) You have honored God, your family and your country. Thanks for making them play our song!

Oh, I do have one queston.. Can I touch it?

Sarah Lau | 2 weeks, 6 days ago

God bless you, Bryan! You make Hawaii very proud! What an incredible inspiration you are to Hawaii’s keiki. May God continue to bless you and protect you and may His face shine upon your family.

Olympic gold…. simply AWESOME!!!!!!

Elizabeth Oby | 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Congratualtions Bryan! Way to make it look easy :-) Have been following all the quals and finals online this week with baited breath - very exciting stuff. Enjoy your much deserved win!!!

Mohamed Mostafa | 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Congratulations Clay, you deserve the gold, keep on the good work and conquer Berlin