By Adam B. Vary
August 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM EDT

There’s a reason the winner of the decathlon is called the world’s greatest athlete. Over two grueling days, decathletes compete in 10 track and field events: 100 meter race, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meter race on day 1; 110 meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500 meter race on day 2. The point system to score the event may be more convoluted than the plot of Inception, but the result is crystal clear: Whoever takes home the gold is one damn fit human being, and deserving of the superlative honorific of PopWatch Stud of the Day.

So congratulations, Ashton Eaton! You’re in better shape than everyone at the Olympics — and therefore the world — but you didn’t feel the need to crow about it every time you saw a camera pointing anywhere near your face. Instead, you let your skills do the talking for you, and then you fell into your mother’s arms as you both collapsed into tears, thereby making moms and sons bawl everywhere, and supplying the NBC overlords with their required quota of human tears. Plus, let’s be honest here, you’re also pretty studly.


• The U.S. women’s soccer team, which avenged their World Cup loss to Japan last year by besting virtually the same team this year to a record crowd at Wembley Stadium.

• Malaysian diver Pandelela Rinong, who won the bronze medal in the 10 meter platform, making her not only the first female athlete from Malaysia to win an Olympic medal, but the first Malaysian athlete period to win a medal in a sport that wasn’t badminton.

• U.S. sprinter Manteo Mitchell, who finished running the first leg in the preliminary round of the men’s 4×400 meter relay even though he broke his leg halfway through the race. I say again: Having slipped in a stairwell earlier during the Olympics, Mitchell said he could feel the fibula in his left leg break while he was the middle of running the lead off spot, but since stopping meant disqualifying his team from making the finals, he kept running anyway. So, you know, the next time our feet hurt after walking through the mall for a half hour, maybe we should all just keep it to ourselves.

Don’t forget to click through all of EW’s Olympic Studs of the Day from the Opening Ceremony until now!

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