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The decathlon, a ten event competition, should be considered the toughest test in all of sports. Decathletes are tested in events involving sprinting, jumping, throwing, and long-distance running. These event requires decathletes to be very skilled in all areas of track and field, along with possessing multitasking abilities. The body of the athlete is put through great amount of stress and must be conditioned well enough to complete the complex competition. The skill, endurance, mental, and physical strength the required makes the decathlon worthy of being hailed as the toughest competition in all sports.
Track and Field has been around for a very lengthy time and the sport has grown immensely. Now in modern times the sport is very competitive and requires great skill to even compete in one event. The decathlon require those skills, but in all ten events. These events cover sprinting, jumping, throwing, and distance running all in one competition. Similar to the modern pentathlon, or a triathlon that challenge many different areas, such as biking, swimming, and running. These events in the decathlon are not something that can just be picked up and done at an elite level. Many time decathletes will spend years perfecting their craft and still have room to grow. With that said, many other sports such as weightlifting, wrestling, or ice skating require great amounts of preparation before reaching a competitive level. Like the other more challenging sports, If the decathlon was not one of the grueling and intense competitions, the number of participants would be much greater.
Conditioning, the least enjoyable part of most sports, is the embodiment of track and field. Not many people run for leisure, let alone as frequently and intensely as track athletes do. Endurance in track and field, especially the decathlon, is what these athletes rely on, especially decathletes. The stamina multi event athletes require is most likely compared to that of a soccer player, wrestler, or even a marathoner. Also after one day of competition decathletes are expected to come back the next day and compete again. While most sports are not able to match that difficulty, there are some instances where other sports have multiple day tournaments like a decathlon. As much as five hours can be spent on each day of a decathlon, with only minimal breaks to refuel, and prepare for the next event. The closest parallel to this in other sports includes examples like half-time between quarters of a game, the short break between wrestling rounds, or the pause for timeouts. The truth of the matter is that without the proper practice and conditioning, an athlete may not physically get through a decathlon, or any other sport requiring great levels of stamina and skill.
According to scientists, of the many Olympic sports, the decathlon is the most difficult (Martinez). This comes ahead of the tough disciplines such as boxing, rowing, and even the marathon. While the following sports may not be collectively more difficult than a decathlon, they all possess their own challenges. As almost all elite athletes do, decathletes put in hours upon hours of hard work in many different areas. When they step on the track they knew their bodies are about to be put through great amounts of stress and pushed to the brink. This is a common feeling of athletes involved in all different types of sporting events, that they are out there to compete to the best of their abilities. While the decathlete must be prepared physically the mental aspect of the decathlon is often overlooked. Specifically in the decathlon it is common to have one or two events not go as planned, leaving it up to the athlete to fold or persevere under the pressure.This applies to pretty much every sport because a mistake may happen, but an athlete has to have the mental capacity to overcome the challenge. The competitors that are able to find the perfect balance of physical and mental are those that really succeed in the long run. Even though the decathlon and other sports have necessary physical requirements, the mental game is just as important.
The skill, endurance, mental and physical strength the competition takes makes the decathlon one of the toughest competitions. Like other multi-event competitions the decathlon requires the athlete to be skilled in many different disciplines. These events take some time to master similar to how martial arts is. All athletes rely on their stamina to compete, but track and field is the true test of that. Lastly, while the physical part is key to being competitive, the mental aspect of the event is vital. The decathlon and the sport will continue to grow, but the discipline will remain as the toughest test for any athlete.
Martinez, Vanesa. “The Five Toughest Sports at the Olympics.” The Irish Times, The
Irish Times, 18 Aug. 2016,www.irishtimes.com/news/science /the-five-toughest