Really the Fittest?

Eaton on his way to a victory in the 110m hurdles.

This past Saturday at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials, 24 year old Ashton Eaton of the University of Oregon set the world record in the decathlon with a total score of 9039 points.  He smashed the previous world record set 11 years earlier by 13 points!  It was a masterful display of overall athleticism.  The decathlon is a series of 10 events over 2 days.  Day one is the 100m dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400m.  Day two consists of the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and the grueling 1500m run.  Decathletes must be well-rounded and efficient in each event; they cannot have any glaring weaknesses.  Eaton’s scores/times for each event were as follows:

100m: 10.21 sec

long jump: 27 ft (this was longer than any long jumper for the US and puts him in the top 10 in the world for the long jump even though he doesn’t even specialize in this event!)

shot put: 46 ft 7 1/4 in

high jump: 6 ft 8 3/4 in

400m: 46.70 (again, a faster time then a few of the 400m specialists for the US)

110m hurdles: 13.70 sec

discus: 140 ft 5 in

pole vault: 17 ft 4 1/2 in

javelin: 193 ft 1 in

1500m: 4:14.48 (he needed to break 4:16.37 to get the world record)

There is no doubt that Ashton Eaton is a freak of nature.  Many of us have never been involved with track and field and cannot really relate to what he has accomplished.  I will put some of his scores into perspective for you.  Running in the low 10’s in the 100m is elite sprinting ability.  High jumping over an object that is nearly 7 ft high is truly incredible (the world record for the high jump is just over 7 ft).  His 27 ft long jump makes him one of the best long jumpers in the world.  His 400m time would have beaten many of the 400m runners for the US.  And finally, his 1500m time means he is running at a 4:37 mile pace.  Yeah, a 4:37 mile!  I ran a 4:49 mile back in high school so I know a little bit about running, and I will be the first to say that after 9 events, a 4:37 mile pace is ridiculous, especially considering he is also an elite sprinter, jumper, and thrower who does not specialize in distance events.

So what am I getting at.  Ashton Eaton is an elite athlete.  I would argue that he trumps any elite CrossFit athlete out there.  His combination of speed, strength, power, and endurance is world class.  I think it is safe to say that he probably squats 400 lbs and cleans 300 lbs.  Oh and on top of that, he throws down 10 second 100s, 27 ft long jumps, and sub 5 minute miles.  Do you guys agree?  Do you think it is fair for CrossFit to claim it finds the fittest man/woman on Earth even though there are guys out there like Eaton who display athleticism unmatched by any other decathlete and let along any elite CrossFitter?  Is it even fair to compare the two?

I know one thing that is certain: it will be damn fun to watch Eaton and all the other Olympians throw down in London!

Workout:

Jerk, 1-RM
Rope-Climb practice between Jerk attempts.

WOD; (for time)

1000m Row
60 Burpees
20 Shoulder-To-Overhead
(165/113)