What are the ten events in a decathlon?
The decathlon is a combination event in track and field consisting of ten track and field events. The word “decathlon” was formed by analogy with the word “pentathlon” from the Greek δέκα (déka, meaning “ten”) and ἄθλος (áthlos or ἄθλον, áthlon, meaning “competition” or “prize”). Events will take place over two consecutive days and winners will be determined by combined performance overall. Performance in each competition is judged on a point system, not on position achieved. The decathlon is primarily contested by male athletes, while female athletes typically compete in the heptathlon.
Traditionally, the title of World’s Greatest Athlete is awarded to the person who wins the decathlon, thus the world’s greatest athlete of all time is the record decathlon man (Kevin Mayer as of September 2018). This began when King Gustav V of Sweden said to Jim Thorpe, “You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world” after Thorpe won the decathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.
The event is similar to the pentathlon held at the ancient Greek Olympic Games, and also resembles a competition called “all-around” held at the United States amateur championships in 1884. Another all-around took place in the summer of 1904 Olympia. The modern decathlon first appeared at the 1912 games.
The current official decathlon world record holder is Frenchman Kevin Mayer, who scored a total of 9,126 points at Décastar 2018 in France.