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Ashton Eaton's Decathlon-Winning Innovations

Yesterday, decathlon world-record holder Ashton Eaton defended his standing as “the World’s Greatest Athlete,” winning his second consecutive decathlon gold and tying the competition's current record: 8,893 points (set in Athens in 2004). 

Eaton’s win underscores why he remains a Nike muse, inspiring the company to continuously innovate for a range of his needs, both in and out of competition. This summer, in anticipation of the competition, Nike further developed the champion’s collection of tailor-made designs and innovations, based upon his insight, Nike designers’ observations and the decathlon’s unique demands.

Nike Cooling Hood

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Last year Eaton’s ultimate performance equation evolved to include a custom Cooling Hood. During jumping and throwing events, Eaton can be out in the field for several consecutive hours. To combat heat on the field, the tailor-made Nike cooling hood provides the sensorial relief of pouring a bottle of water over one’s head, allowing Eaton to momentarily reduce surface heat and, when tinted lenses are attached, cast a striking silhouette.

Nike Shot-Put Sleeve

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Custom-made for Eaton by Nike, the athlete’s shot-put sleeve compresses his forearm to assist the reflex motion of the wrist while providing a support traditionally ascribed to tape. The sleeve’s straps allow Eaton to adjust tension with ease between throws, helping to increase his confidence.

Additionally, Eaton's shot-put footwear, is — in a sense — also unique to him. For the event, he wears the Nike Air Zoom Odyssey, a running shoe, because, as Eaton explains, “Shot-put shoes are created for people who spin, so the bottom of the shoe is smooth for an easier rotation. I don't spin so I don't need a smooth bottom.  I actually need a grippy bottom so I can apply more forces with more stability, because they're non-rotational; they're linear forces."

Nike Zoom Superfly Elite

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The Nike Zoom Superfly Elite was built with a fixation on propulsion and energy return, using a stiffer plate created with computational design that makes it possible to customize spikes for each sprinter's power and foot size. It eliminates traditional screw-in spikes in favor of fixed pins and an increase of secondary traction. This ensures the foot is closer to the track and, thus, faster off it. 

Nike Roller Bag

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Designed by members of Nike’s cross-functional NXT team, Eaton’s roller bag includes a series of internal pockets to keep shoes (eight different competition pairs), tape, notes, bibs, extra socks and more in order. Proper organization saves time and energy. Both are critical in the decathlon — energy crucial for maximum achievement, time for maximum focus.