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Bryan Clay: The World's Greatest Athlete


Bryan Clay: The World's Greatest Athlete

Bryan Clay

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Bryan Clay started fast - literally - at the 2008 Olympic decathlon. He won the opening event, the 100 meters, and never trailed on his way to the gold medal. A slight injury prior to the 2009 U.S. Championships prevented Clay from qualifying for the Berlin World Championships.

Return to No. 1?:

Clay earned the silver medal in the 2004 Olympics, then struck gold at the 2005 World Championships. He was ranked No. 1 in the world in 2005 and ‘06. By 2008, however, Clay was on the comeback trail after injuries limited him to one complete decathlon the previous year. He began his comeback by winning the 2008 World Indoor heptathlon championship. He then fell just short of the U.S. decathlon record while winning the 2008 Olympic Trials with 8832 points.


Like many decathletes and heptathletes, Clay began his track and field career as someone who competed in a variety of events until someone suggested he try the decathlon. In Clay’s case it was 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Chris Huffins, who appeared at a clinic that Clay attended. Huffins introduced Clay to his current coach, Kevin Reid, who formerly coached 1992 Olympic bronze medalist Dave Johnson. Clay went on to attend Azusa Pacific University, where Reid is the head coach.

Career highlights:

In addition to his World Championship and Olympic silver medal, Clay is a three-time U.S. champion, including a victorious performance at the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. In the heptathlon, Clay won the 2008 World Indoor Championship and placed second twice. As a collegian at Azusa Pacific, Clay won the NAIA decathlon championship in 2000, the long jump title in 2001 plus the pentathlon and long jump championships in 2002, and led the Cougars to national indoor and outdoor NAIA titles in 2002.

The stats:

  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 185
  • Birth date: January 3, 1980
  • Hometown: Kaneohe, Hawaii
  • World Championships: One


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