There are those who run. There are those who jump. There are those who throw. And then there are those who do all three on an Olympic level.
Enter Ashton Eaton, the World’s Greatest Athlete.
Eaton holds the world record for the decathlon, which requires competitors to take part in ten events ranging from high jump to discus throw. He clinched gold for the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics before repeating the feat this past weekend in Rio de Janeiro.
Besides being a world-class athlete, Eaton is also an active humanitarian. He has done work with Team World Vision, an aid organization that uses community races to raise money for development programs. Eaton even visited Kenya recently to meet a child he and his wife were sponsoring through the organization.
ExpressVPN is proud that Eaton has been an active user since 2015. And given that no one from the blog was able to make it to Rio, it was very kind of Eaton to share some of his impressions of this year’s Olympic Games.
ExpressVPN: Thanks, Ashton, for being gracious enough to respond to our questions, we know you’re a busy man!
Ashton Eaton: No problem! I hope that my answers can have some positive impact.
ExpressVPN: You’ve previously stated that you and your wife fell in love in Brazil in 2007. Did that add an extra level to competing in an Olympics there?
(Note: Last week Eaton’s wife, Canadian Brianne Theisen-Eaton, took home the bronze in the women’s heptathlon.)
Eaton: Absolutely. Brazil was a starting point for us, not only personally, but athletically. We were collegiate athletes there, then went on to capture titles that set up our professional careers.
“The intention for 2016 was to win. In that way, the pressure was such that I SHOULD win.”
ExpressVPN: You competed in one of the later events. How did you pass the time in Rio?
Eaton: This is a fantastic question. Track athletes are often envious of the competitors in sports which start earlier in the Games, as they have more time after competing to explore the city and watch other competitions.
As an athlete leading up to the biggest competition of your life, you try to take very strong control over your environment. That means the top priority every day is your physical health. You train, you eat, and if you’re tired, you sleep. But sometimes there is a lot of downtime once you have those three boxes checked. Every athlete is different.
Some use the time to find new friends from other countries. Some use it to analyze the last few days of training. Some like to let the mind wander with a book or their favorite TV shows.
I personally keep up on the happenings around the games via social media. Brianne watches shows via the internet.
“Brianne and I have used your service throughout our travels over the year.”
ExpressVPN: Did you feel more or less pressure than in 2012?
(Eaton set a world record in the decathlon at the 2012 Olympic Trials before going on to win the gold medal in London.)
Eaton: I felt the same amount of pressure, it’s just different.
In 2012 my intention wasn’t to win necessarily, it was to take part in the games and do my best. I just happened to be good at that time so my best was such that I COULD win, thus giving pressure.
Since then, though, the intention for 2016 was to win. In that way, the pressure was such that I SHOULD win.
ExpressVPN: How has your experience with ExpressVPN been?
Eaton: I used ExpressVPN to follow NBC’s Twitter feed and the Canadian Olympic Committee’s feed, and they had a lot of short video clips showing great moments. Brianne and I have used your service throughout our travels over the year.
ExpressVPN: You’re definitely a tech-savvy athlete–do you think your teammates and competitors know the same tips and tricks when it comes to accessing the web while abroad?
Eaton: On the whole, I would say most athletes have trouble with technology and using it to do or get what they want. I imagine other athletes wouldn’t go through those steps and continue to scroll on to something else.
ExpressVPN: Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions, we really appreciate it. We’ve been big fans for a long time!
Eaton: No problem. Looking forward to the year to come!
All well said! ExpressVPN wishes Ashton Eaton the best of luck as his athletic saga continues. If you’re interested in following his future triumphs, follow him on Twitter.
Featured Image: Getty Images