Profile Born on 30 July 1958 in London, Francis Morgan “Daley” Thompson developed into the greatest ever decathlete. As the winner of gold medals at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, and at the World Championship of 1983, the natural showman who was famous for the provocative T-shirts he wore during big tournaments, will always be remembered as the athlete who made the immensely difficult and demanding decathlon popular.
Thompson set a decathlon world record on four different occasions. His best result ever was set at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles when he won the gold medal with a new world record of 8847 points. This record would stand for nine years, and it was only at the 2004 Olympics in Athens that Czech Roman Šebrle bettered this Olympic record.
The tall, very powerful Thompson’s rivalry during the 1980s with West German athlete Jürgen Hingsen won the event worldwide attention. Despite the fact that both athletes held and traded world records, it was always Thompson who held the upper hand at international events. Between 1979 and 1987, Thompson went undefeated in all competitions.
Thompson’s other successes included gold medals at the European Championships in 1982 and 1986, after winning the silver medal in 1978 behind Aleksandr Grebenyuk from the Soviet Union.