Getty
Back
Academy Member

Daley

Thompson

During the 1980s he was arguably the world’s greatest all-round athlete, dominating the decathlon and becoming a sporting hero for a generation of athletics fans in the United Kingdom.

Daley Thompson won more decathlon honours than anybody before him. He is the only man to win two Olympic gold medals and a World Championship. He also created four world records, won three Commonwealth gold medals and two European Championships.
He made his debut in the decathlon at 16, winning a competition in Cwmbrân, Wales. Daley’s score of 6,685 points was a British junior record and the precursor of a remarkable career.
Throughout the 1980s, he was the world's greatest decathlete, winning 19 decathlons, including 12 in a row. He always thrilled the crowds with his competitive ability. His ongoing battle with West Germany’s Jurgen Hingsen dominated the sport during that period.

At the Moscow Olympics in 1980, he clinched the gold medal at just 21 and followed this two years later with the European Championship in Athens. He also recaptured the world record. Having seen his own mark set in Gotzis, Austria that June tumble to Hingsen, he bounced back to score 8,774 points and break the West German’s mark by 21 points.

In Helsinki on August 15, 1983, Daley added the World Championship gold medal to his impressive collection of Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles. He beat Hingsen with relative ease, winning by 105 points with a total of 8,666 points.
At the 1984 Los Angeles Games, he won the Olympic decathlon title for the second time to advance his claims as being one of the great all-round athletes the world has seen. Daley amassed a total of 8,797 points that left Hingsen trailing once again by 123 points.