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Medal record

Dan O'Brien
Men’s Athletics
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1996 Atlanta Decathlon
World Championships
Gold 1991 Tokyo Decathlon
Gold 1993 Stuttgart Decathlon
Gold 1995 Gothenburg Decathlon
World Indoor Championships
Gold 1993 Toronto Heptathlon

Daniel ("Dan") Dion O'Brien (born July 18, 1966 in Portland, Oregon) is a former American decathlete. He was deemed one of the best decathlon athletes of the 1990s, winning an Olympic gold medal after winning three consecutive world titles.

Dan O'Brien is of African American and Finnish heritage [1] and grew up as an adopted child in an Irish-American family in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He graduated from Henley High School in 1984 and the University of Idaho in 1993, where he competed in track and field, although not in the decathlon. His name is attached to the university's outdoor track and field venue, where he quietly trained for his Olympic and world championships under the aid of Idaho's track coach, Mike Keller.

O'Brien won the Olympic gold medal for decathlon at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and also won gold medals at the 1991, 1993, and 1995 World Championships in Athletics.

In 1992 he set a world record of 8,891 points, and appeared with U.S. rival Dave Johnson in a popular TV advertising campaign for Reebok. The series of commercials, entitled "Dan & Dave," were meant to build interest in Reebok and the decathletes, culminating in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. At the U.S. Olympic trials at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, O'Brien voluntarily passed on the lower heights in the pole vault, then failed in his first three attempts, resulting in no points for the event, and ultimately, did not qualify for the Olympic team. His unexpected failure received considerable attention; Reebok adjusted by running new ads featuring him cheering on Dave, who went on to win the bronze medal.

In the late 1990s, Dan O'Brien appeared in ads for Italian designer Versace. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, along with Dave Johnson. [1] [2] and was inducted into the University of Idaho Sports Hall of Fame with the large inaugural class of 2007.

O'Brien broke the world record for the fastest game of hopscotch on Chelsea Piers on May 7, 2009. He established a record of 1 minute and 23 seconds, breaking the old mark by two seconds.[2]

O'Brien has been a resident of the Phoenix area since 1997. He owns Gold Medal Acceleration, a gym in Scottsdale, is a volunteer track coach at ASU, and does commentary for track and field events on television.

References

External links



Records
Preceded by
United Kingdom Daley Thompson
Men's Decathlon World Record Holder
September 5, 1992 – July 4, 1999
Succeeded by
Czech Republic Tomáš Dvořák
Sporting positions
Preceded by
France Christian Plaziat
Best Year Performance
1991 – 1993
Succeeded by
Belarus Eduard Hämäläinen
Preceded by
Belarus Eduard Hämäläinen
Best Year Performance
1995 – 1996
Succeeded by
Czech Republic Tomáš Dvořák
Preceded by
Czech Republic Tomáš Dvořák
Best Year Performance
1998
Succeeded by
Czech Republic Tomáš Dvořák
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