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Glendora's Bryan Clay Finds Motivation After Gold

Glendora's Bryan Clay is attempting to become the first American to win three Olympic medals in the decathlon

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Bryan Clay celebrates winning the gold medal in the Men's Hepathalon during Day 2 of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March 2010.

    Two-time Olympic decathlon medalist Bryan Clay can still find time for his family, faith and the 10 events for which he trains six days per week at Azusa Pacific University.

    It's the same Christian school from which the 32-year-old Glendora resident graduated in 2002 and where he met his wife, Sarah. Trying to juggle being an athlete, husband, father, entrepreneur, and author is like a decathlon in its own way, Clay said.

    But he allows his faith to guide him, he says.

    "I was blessed with certain gifts and talents and God gave them to me to be the best person I can be and to have a positive impact on other people," he said.

    When he's not running, jumping and hurdling in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics, Clay mentors students at the Azusa Pacific track.

    "They know who I am.  I'm not anyone special," Clay, who was born in Texas and raised in Hawaii, said. "I have great relationships with a lot of them and try to help mentor a lot of them with life in general.

    "Who you get on the track is the same person you get at home. You don't have to sacrifice who you are to follow your beliefs."

    Winning the gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and silver at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games did not change the family man, a father of three young children. He's like any other dad in the morning trying to have a shower, coffee and some time to himself before he has to wake up the kids, Clay said (except he gets to eat 6,000 calories a day while training).  When he has time off, he like to take his kids to Disneyland or the beach. 

    Clay not only won the gold in 2008, he had a winning mark of 240 points ahead of silver medalist Andrei Krauchanka, of Belarus -- the largest winning margin at an Olympic game since 1972. It was the fourth-best mark in Olympic history. His victory was the first in the event for an American since Dan O'Brien in 1996.

    And, winning the gold medal in 2008 presented a new challenge.

    "One of the hardest things was finding motivation again," he said. "For so long I wanted to win the gold medal. Then I won. I had to figure out what was the new motivation to take myself to that place again."

    He currently holds the record for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the decathlon event with a personal best of 8,832 points. Clay hopes to be the first American to win three Olympic medals in the decathlon.

    When he's not training, spending time with his family, or working on his new book, Clay focuses on the foundation he created to help America's troubled youth.  In 2005, he started the Bryan Clay Foundation and has since held several events around Los Angeles and other cities.

    More recently, he created a Walk for Wellness Campaign that aims at addressing the budget crisis in education and unhealthy living.