Decathlon Olympic Medalists

Jim Thorpe competes in the decathlon at the 1912 U.S. Olympic Trials. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Fans who witnessed the first Olympic decathlon, in 1912, were treated to a dominant performance by American Jim Thorpe, who won the 10-event competition by almost 700 points. He was later stripped of his medal due to technical violations of the then-existing amateurism rules. In 1982, Thorpe was reinstated as a co-champion.

After the IAAF began recognizing a decathlon world record in 1922, the mark was broken in four consecutive Olympic Games, from 1920 through 1936.

The decathlon scoring rules were change before the 1936 Games, so Glenn Morris' 7900-point effort went into the record books, even though he scored fewer points than the previous two Olympic champions. After another scoring rules adjustment, Bob Mathias set a decathlon world record at the 1952 Olympics. Three more Olympic gold medalists set decathlon world records: Mykola Avilov in 1972, Bruce Jenner in 1976 and Daley Thompson, who tied the then-existing record in 1984.

Mathias and Thompson are the only two-time Olympic decathlon champions. Nine other competitors have earned two Olympic decathlon medals apiece.

  • 1912
    GOLD *Jim Thorpe, USA 8412.955
    GOLD * Hugo Wieslander, SWE 7724.495
    SILVER Charles Lomberg, SWE 7413.510
    BRONZE Gösta Holmer, SWE 7347.855

* Declared co-champions by the International Olympic Committee in 1982.

  • 1920
    GOLD Helge Løvland, NOR 6804.355
    SILVER Brutus Hamilton, USA 6771.085
    BRONZE Bertil Ohlsson, SWE 6580.03
  • 1924
    GOLD Harold Osborn, USA 7710.775
    SILVER Emerson Norton, USA 7350.895
    BRONZE Aleksander Klumberg, EST 7329.36
  • 1928
    GOLD Paavo Yrjölä, FIN 8053.29
    SILVER Akilles Järvinen, FIN 7931.5
    BRONZE Ken Doherty, USA 7706.65
  • 1932
    GOLD Jim Bausch, USA 8462.235
    SILVER Akilles Järvinen, FIN 8292.48
    BRONZE Wolrad Eberle, GER 8030.805
  • 1936
    GOLD Glenn Morris, USA 7900
    SILVER Bob Clark, USA 7601
    BRONZE Jack Parker, USA 7275
  • 1948
    GOLD Bob Mathias, USA 7139
    SILVER Ignace Heinrich, FRA 6974
    BRONZE Floyd Simmons, USA 6950
  • 1952
    GOLD Bob Mathias, USA 7887
    SILVER Milt Campbell, USA 6975
    BRONZE Floyd Simmons, USA 6788
  • 1956
    GOLD Milt Campbell, USA 7937
    SILVER Rafer Johnson, USA 7587
    BRONZE Vasiliy Kuznetsov, URS 7465
  • 1960
    GOLD Rafer Johnson, USA 8392
    SILVER Yang Chuan-Kwang, TPE 8334
    BRONZE Vasiliy Kuznetsov, URS 7809
  • 1964
    GOLD Willi Holdorf, FRG 7887
    SILVER Rein Aun, URS 7842
    BRONZE Hans-Joachim Walde, GER 7809
  • 1968
    GOLD Bill Toomey, USA 8193
    SILVER Hans-Joachim Walde, GER 8111
    BRONZE Kurt Bendlin, FRG 8064
  • 1972
    GOLD Mykola Avilov, URS 8454
    SILVER Leonid Litvinenko, URS 8035
    BRONZE Ryszard Katus, POL 7984
  • 1976
    GOLD Bruce Jenner, USA 8618
    SILVER Guido Kratschmer, FRG 8411
    BRONZE Mykola Avilov, URS 8369
  • 1980
    GOLD Daley Thompson, GBR 8495
    SILVER Yuriy Kutsenko, URS 8331
    BRONZE Sergey Zhelanov, URS 8135
  • 1984
    GOLD Daley Thompson, GBR 8798
    SILVER Jϋrgen Hingsen, FRG 8673
    BRONZE Siegfried Wentz, FRG 8412
  • 1988
    GOLD Christian Schenk, GDR 8488
    SILVER Torsten Voss, GDR 8399
    BRONZE Dave Steen, CAN 8328
  • 1992
    GOLD Robert Zmelik, CZE 8611
    SILVER Antonio Peñalver, ESP 8412
    BRONZE Dave Johnson, USA 8309
  • 1996
    GOLD Dan O’Brien, USA 8824
    SILVER Frank Busemann, GER 8706
    BRONZE Tomás Dvorák, CZE 8664
  • 2000
    GOLD Erki Nool, EST 8641
    SILVER Román Sebrle, CZE 8606
    BRONZE Chris Huffins, USA 8595
  • 2004
    GOLD Román Sebrle, CZE 8893
    SILVER Bryan Clay, USA 8820
    BRONZE Dmitriy Karpov, KAZ 8725
  • 2008
    GOLD Bryan Clay, USA 8791
    SILVER Andrei Krauchanka, BLR 8551
    BRONZE Leonel Suárez, CUB 8527
  • 2012
    GOLD Ashton Eaton, USA 8869
    SILVER Trey Hardee, USA 8671
    BRONZE Leonel Suárez, CUB 8523

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Rosenbaum, Mike. "Decathlon Olympic Medalists." ThoughtCo, Feb. 6, 2016, thoughtco.com/decathlon-olympic-medalists-3258686. Rosenbaum, Mike. (2016, February 6). Decathlon Olympic Medalists. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/decathlon-olympic-medalists-3258686 Rosenbaum, Mike. "Decathlon Olympic Medalists." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/decathlon-olympic-medalists-3258686 (accessed November 24, 2017).