As Governor Kitzhaber and legislative leaders prepared to resume their Mahonia Hall budget talks this afternoon, Oregon House members celebrated Ashton Eaton, the popular and photogenic LaPine Olympian who holds world records in the decathlon and heptathlon.
After passing House Concurrent Resolution 31, lawmakers posed for pictures with Eaton, the 2012 decathlon gold medalist in London.
Eaton was a five-time NCAA champion while competing for the University of Oregon. He now competes for the Oregon Track Club Elite, also based in Eugene.
He peaked at the right time for the 2012 Olympics, winning his first international medal in 2011 at the World Championships, then setting the world record in the decathlon in the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene. Eaton was only the second Olympic decathlete to exceed 9,000 points.
HCR 31 gave Eaton the title of "world's greatest athlete," which in this case may not be an exaggeration. The decathlon includes 10 disparate track and field events. A decathlete runs 100, 400 and 1,500 meter races, plus the 110-meter hurdles. Field events include the long jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put, discus and javelin.