In past years, the event had star power. Remember the likes of Bruce Jenner, Jim Thorpe, Rafer Johnson, and Dan O'Brien becoming household names after winning the ten event competition? Bringing back gold almost guaranteed being featured on the front of the Wheaties box.
Well that is no longer the case.
NBC bypassed showing a major portion of the decathalon competition in order to air the BMX competition. Oh, how the sport and event have fallen from that pedastal.
So what that means is that millions of Americans saw very little of Clay's impressive performance. He brought the title of "World's Greatest Athlete" back to the U.S., something that has eluded Team USA since Dan O'Brien's victory in 1996.
Clay put forth one of the most dominant performances of a generation. The U.S. Olympic Trials champion led from the first event and opened up an insurmountable lead, while never relinquishing the top sport during the grueling two-day competition.
The 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2005 world champion, Clay finished with 8,791 points, including a solid 1,500 meter race to close out the competition.
“I hope the Wheaties box and all those types of things happen,” Clay said. “I’d love for this to be a spark for the decathlon and bring it back to the forefront of track and field.”
Bryan Clay is king now,” said Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic, the world record holder and 2007 world champion who finished sixth, “and I was before. It was just about me giving him the crown for the next four years.”
By Jay Hicks.