You know what's cool? Setting a world record. You know what's even cooler than setting a world record? Getting paid $750,000 after setting a world record.
That's the case for Olympic standout Ashton Eaton, who set a new world record of 9,039 points in the decathlon last Friday and Saturday at U.S. Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon. That bonus figure comes via the San Francisco Chronicle who had a source familiar with his Nike contract.
Of course Oregon track coach Vin Lananna thought, in the words of the Chronicle, Eaton's performance was priceless.
"That was pretty electrifying," Lananna said. "Was it the best? It was for me. I kept it together throughout the events."
Yeah but it was also worth a cool $750,000 and, given that Olympians are not the highest paid athletes in the world, that's a lot of dough.
Eaton, 24, wound up setting the mark after hauling around the track in the 1,500 meters to finish with a time of four minutes, 14.48 seconds and complete what some call the best test of an athlete in the world. It was, record aside, a special moment for the former Oregon Duck who also accomplished the task at his home track of Hayward Field.
"That last 600 meters, I wasn't running with my own legs," Eaton told the media after the event. "It was incredible. I don't care what anyone says, there is magic here. I felt it for 600 meters. It was so special."
The gold medal favorite in London even before the trials, Eaton won seven of the 10 events in the decathlon and set event world records in the 100 meters and long jump. He finished 656 points ahead of current world champion Trey Hardee. The pair give the United States a good shot a taking the top two spots at the Olympics and might not even be
"The great thing about this is, and not to pump my own tires, but I feel like I'm not maximized yet," Eaton said last week. "I feel like I can still run faster, jump higher, which I think makes it special. Hopefully, going to London, I'll be welcomed into the decathlon community."
Not only will he be welcomed with open arms, you can bet Eaton is forced to pick up the check a few times too.