Daley Thompson

Daley Thompson was born Francis Morgan Thompson on 30th July,1958 in Notting Hill, London, the son of a Nigerian father and Scottish mother. Daley was a very active child with boundless energy and a high level of intelligence. He attended boarding school in Sussex and it was here that his love for sport first became apparent.

In 1974 ,at the age of 16, Daley won the Sussex Schools 200 metres , and the following year,just before his 17th birthday, won his first decathlon in Cwmbran, Wales. Thompson's score of 6,685 points was a British junior record, and in that same year, 1975, he qualified for the British Olympic team.

In 1976 he won the AAAs Senior Championship and was selected for the Olympic Games in Montreal, where he celebrated his 18th birthday and finished 18th. From then on his career as a Decathlete went from strength to strength.
He won the European Junior Championships in 1977 .

In 1978 Daley won the Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada,and finished 2nd at the European championships.
He would not lose another decathlon for Nine years !!!

In 1980, after setting a World Record in May with 8,622 points, Thompson dominated the competition at the Olympics in Moscow to win the first of his gold medals.Daley attracted publicity for his colourful personality as well as for his athletic prowess and became one of the biggest sports personalities in the world. His increased success brought lucrative endorsements and sponsorship contracts with the likes of Adidas and Lucozade.

The next four years were very busy for Daley. In 1982 he broke his own world record twice, winning the European Championships in Athens,and the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. In 1983 he struck gold again at the 1st World Championship, held in Helsinki.

At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Thompson successfully defended his title, equaling the achievement of the American Bob Mathias, who won Olympic decathlon gold medals in 1948 and 1952. Although Thompson’s total of 8,797 points fell one point short of the world record, when the scoring tables for the decathlon were adjusted in 1985, his Olympic point total was changed to 8,847 and he was awarded the world record.

In 1986 he won both the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and the European Championships in Stuttgart.

One year later, in 1987, Daley was to defend his World Title at the 2nd IAAF World Championships, in Rome ,but hasn’t been able to compete for several months,due to injuries, and finished 4th (still).

Having been plagued by injury for some time, Daley still managed to achieve a respectable 4th place at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

In July 1992 ,in an effort to qualify for the Barcelona Olympics,Daley ended his first and last ever decathlon in England before finishing the first event,and pulled out with a knee injury
He then decided to put an end to his impressive career as a decathlete.

During his career as a Decathlete, Daley broke the world record four times, the only athlete to do so. He also held the Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles, as well as the world record, at the same time. It is unlikely his feat will ever be equalled.

Today, Daley is a family man with a wife and three young children, living in London. He keeps fit by playing football and has been associated with Wimbledon, Leicester, Reading and Mansfield Town over the past few years.

He is making a name for himself as a television personality, having been a presenter on The Week-end Show on BBC 1, a team captain on The Olympic Game and a member of the BBC commentary team for all major athletic events including the Olympics. Recently he was voted The Greatest by view-ers of Channel 4 in a series of programmes devised to decide who was the best British Sportsman of the 20th Century.

The British two-time Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson, disdaining the lucrative non-athletic career possibilities to which many Olympic celebrities early succumb, has opted instead for long-term domination of his grueling sport.

Unbeaten in the decathlon, the forty-eight-hour summa of running, jumping, and throwing, since 1978, Thompson has set new world records four times, and his current world-leading mark for the ten-event contest is 8,847 points. He is Britain’s best long jumper,and his personal best in the 100 meters is 10.26 seconds, a fraction of a second behind the world record for that event. In the shot put, a relative weakness of his, he has moved up to a personal best of 15.73.

While he is single-minded in his dedication as an athlete,Thompson as a person has a reputation in the British press for being “unpredictable” as well as “cocky.”

Headstrong, he refuses to be interviewed by reporters who, in his view, do not understand or fully appreciate the decathlon, and he will not discuss his personal life. When he does speak to the press, he is voluble, witty, and irreverent,unsparing even of such sacred entities as members of the royal family. When he declined to carry the Union Jack in the four-and-a-half-hour-long opening ceremonies of the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane,Australia, it was, he said, to save all of his strength for the decathlon.

“Competition is my life--winning is my only goal,” he has explained. “Everything I do is directed toward that end and I will never permit anything to jeopardize it....Since winning is the only prize anybody cares about in this world, I would like people to know what it costs.”

Thompson was made a member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1983