Bryan Clay reveals why decathlon is sport of choice for Olympics

Bryan Clay
Bryan Clay

By Jason Tang - bio | email

EUGENE, OR (KHNL) - For Castle High alum Bryan Clay, it's been a perfect storm leading up to this week's Olympic games.

A gold at the World's in March, and a new American record at last month's Olympic trials.

Now he's one of the favorites to bring home a gold.

For Bryan Clay, there's a difference between being cocky, and being confident.

"I think that if I am healthy, and if I am competing well and in shape, I don't think there's anybody out there that can beat me," said Clay. "I really don't think so."

At 5 feet 10 inches, Clay is considered a smaller decathlete. However, since an early age, he knew he had a gift -- his speed.

"When I was a little kid I was always one of those rascal kids that runs around at school, and through that I found out that I had a little bit of a gift of being one of the faster kids in school, and then uh, now, here I am 20 years later and I've done what I've wanted to do."

But why the decathlon? Why not utilize his speed in just the sprinting events? The decathlon is perhaps the most difficult disciplines at the Olympics. 10 events over the space of two days.

"I ask myself everyday, it's one of those things, where I don't know why I chose the decathlon, it's one of those things where the decathlon kind of chose me."

Events in the decathlon include the 100 meter, the long jump, the shot put, the high jump, the 400 meter, the 110 meter hurdles, the discuss, the pole vault, the javelin and the 1500 meter. And it's the variety that clays says gives him the advantage.

"I just happen to be good in a lot of different things, and when I was recruited by my coaches who coaches me now, he recruited me as a decathlete and I was like cool, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into."

As Clay matured through dedicated training, it was obvious this was the event for him.

However, he feels his success thus far is just a prelude to far greater things in the future.

"I feel like I've been given this talent, and it really is just a stepping stone for what I'm going to do later in life, and I really feel there's a purpose for me for doing track, there's a purpose for me that I haven't even begun to tap into yet."

Clay says he believes his calling is to help children, especially those right here in Hawaii, as he can relate to a lot of them.

"I'm from Hawaii, I was failing my classes, I was doing all this stuff, product of a divorced home, all this crazy stuff was going on, but I was able to still be successful and still reach my wildest dreams and make them come true."

And in just a couple weeks, Clay will once again use the world's grandest sporting stage to inspire young boys and girls across the world, as he goes for the gold in Beijing.

Clay is scheduled to compete in the decathlon August 21st through the 22nd.

And our profile of Bryan clay continues Wednesday where we'll hear about the other side of his life.

His role of father, husband, and man of faith.