The decathlon is nine Mickey Mouse events and the 1500 metres.— Steve Ovett
Breathtaking Decathlon quotations
Before the decathlon I'm constantly trying to convince myself that I want to do this, that I want to take myself to that place where it's going to hurt and things are going to be tough. But that's like anything - you want to give your best.
It hurts every day when you practice hard.
Plus, when this decathlon is over, I got the rest of my life to recuperate. Who cares how bad it hurts?
If you're going to dedicate every second to winning the decathlon, what are you doing wasting your time in bed?
Sometimes you have to resist working on your strengths in favour of your weaknesses. The decathlon requires a wide range of skills.
The most challenging aspect of the decathlon is not the events themselves, but how you train to become the best 100-meter runner you are on the same day that you're the best 1,500-meter runner.
The decathlon includes ten separate events and they all matter. You can't work on just one of them.
There's never going to be a decathlon that you're going to have 10 events that your satisfied with. You're always, always going to be dissatisfied in something, and that always draws you back to try to retry that the next time you do a decathlon. It's like you go for the perfect 10.
Most people doing the decathlon these days are quite boring, so people don't relate to them.
I don't think anyone chooses the decathlon as much as it chooses you.
And there is such a thing as a decathlon high.
It's like a rock rolling down hill, picking up momentum. You get better and better.
To me, the decathlon is its own little society and I am part of that culture.
It took me time to realize that the men who won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon are just men, just like me.
When I lost my decathlon world record I took it like a man. I only cried for ten hours.
The thing I like about decathlon is also the thing I dislike: It's the maximum challenge, but also the maximum frustration.
I'm competitive. I like to compete, and that's basically what the decathlon lets me do.
The whole decathlon is ridiculous, but the 1,500 meters is insanity.
I got interested in decathlon because a coach that I had was a big fan of Bruce Jenner, and he just saw the ability in me - but when it came down to it, I knew my best chance at a college scholarship would be in track and field.
David Epstein, the author of the best book on athletics in recent memory - "The Sports Gene" - wrote to me to say that he thinks I'm being overly generous. He points out that, for years, there used to be an "all-star challenge" on television, in which the best professional athletes from a variety of sports competed in a kind of makeshift decathlon.
The decathlon takes so long to learn that people who are good athletes don't want to go back to the beginning again.
I didn't even know what it was when I started.
But I was lucky. I found it at 16. Most people don't discover decathlon until they're 21 or 22.