Dan O'Brien

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Daniel ("Dan") Dion O'Brien (born July 18, 1966 in Portland, Oregon) is a former American decathlete. He was deemed one of the best decathlon athletes of the 1990s, winning an Olympic gold medal after winning three consecutive world titles.

Dan O'Brien is of African American and Finnish heritage and grew up as an adopted child in an Irish-American family in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He graduated from Henley High School in 1984 and the University of Idaho in 1989, where he competed in track and field. His name is attached to the university's outdoor track and field venue, where he quietly trained for his Olympic and world championships under the aid of Idaho's track coach, Mike Keller.

O'Brien won the Olympic gold medal for decathlon at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and also won gold medals at the 1991, 1993, and 1995 World Championships in Athletics.

In 1992 he set a world record of 8,891 points, and appeared with U.S. rival Dave Johnson in a popular TV advertising campaign for Reebok. The series of commercials, entitled "Dan & Dave," were meant to build interest in Reebok and the decathletes, culminating in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. At the U.S. Olympic trials at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, O'Brien voluntarily passed on the lower heights in the pole vault, then failed in his first three attempts, resulting in no points for the event, and...
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