Bright Path Strong – #7 In A Series On The "BRIGHT PATH STRONG -The Resiliency Of Jim Thorpe", Part 7 – in whose life and legacy will soon be presented in an upcoming Hollywood film! 2008 Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist Bryan Clay!
This piece is the seventh in the series on the decathlon and this time it is about 2008 Olympic decathlete Bryan Clay. Jeff Benjamin did this piece. He has done an important series on Jim Thorpe, the 1912 Olympiic Champion in the Decathlon and the Pentathlon.
Bryan Clay, with Brianna Benjamin (L) and Amanda Benjamin (R), photo taken in 2011, photo by Jeff Benjamin
Bright Path Strong – #7 In A Series On The
“BRIGHT PATH STRONG -The Resiliency Of Jim Thorpe”, Part 7 – in whose life and legacy will soon be presented in an upcoming Hollywood film!
2008 Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist Bryan Clay!
1) How’d you get started in the Decathlon?
I got started in the decathlon the summer of my senior year… basically I was being recruited to college as a potential multi eventer because of how I competed in high school. In Hawaii, I would compete in six events at a track meet. Those events usually consisted of the 100m, 200m, LJ, HJ, 4x100m, and 4x400m. During the championship season, I would compete in all six events in the prelims on Wednesday night and then all six again in the finals on Friday night. I guess you could say that between that and my high school coach competing as a Decathlete in the World Police and Fire Games I was destined to become a Decathlete.
2) How important is the Mental Approach and how’d you handle it?
I think the mental approach in the Decathlon is everything. The Decathlon is really meant to break you… it wants to determine who is physically the most talented but also who is mentally and emotionally the toughest. I can’t tell you how often the idea of quitting the competition would go through my mind during a decathlon… and yes, that happened even during the 2008 Olympics. In order for me to make it through my competitions I relied on a combination of things, my faith, experience, and support team.
3) Your Thoughts on Jim Thorpe and what he means to you.
For me, Jim Thorpe is where the prestige of the Decathlon all started. King Gustav V gave Jim Thorpe the title of “The World’s Greatest Athlete”… to this day it is one of only two titles awarded at the Summer or Winter Olympic Games. In the Decathlon, as in life, it takes faith, balance, focus, discipline, perseverance, toughness, and so much more… I believe King Gustav V understood the challenges that Jim Thorpe overcame in the sport and in life to win the gold medal and was compelled to acknowledge those accomplishments. When I think of Jim’s story, I was inspired because it reminded me of my own story… a troubled kid, from a small town, with a less than perfect family life, overcoming the odds to become the best in the world… I find it a great honor to be in such great company
Bell Lap –
-For more information on the film please go to
– A petition for the reinstatement of Jim Thorpe into the official IOC record books can be found here at
– Robert Wheeler’s paramount Jim Thorpe biography is getting a reissue soon BUT if you wish to purchase a copy now check out
Source: Athletics – Run Blog Run