Eatons take to the snow after life on the track

Thu Jan 5, 2017 8:03pm EST
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By Gene Cherry

SALVO, North Carolina (Reuters) - Athletics' retired super couple have discovered a new sport but do not expect them to be chasing Olympic medals anytime soon.

Snowboarding is the new call for Ashton Eaton and wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton as they settle into life after years of chasing medals and records in the decathlon and heptathlon respectively.

"We went snowboarding over Christmas and I pretty much fell in love with it. I thought it was awesome," said Eaton as he and his wife chatted with Reuters via telephone on Thursday.

The outing was the first on a board for the two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist since fourth grade and the first for Canadian Theisen-Eaton since high school when she began concentrating on athletics.

But there will be more along with long hikes, all for fun.

"Next weekend we are going up to Banff Canada to go snowboarding in the mountains for Ashton's (29th) birthday," said Theisen-Eaton, the Olympic heptathlon bronze medalist and world indoor pentathlon champion.

The couple, who both now own snowboards, announced on Wednesday they were stepping away from athletics, a sport that has brought them worldwide acclaim.

Oregon native Eaton soared to multiple world records in the decathlon and indoor heptathlon, five indoor and outdoor world championships and in Rio became only the third man to win successive decathlon Olympic gold medals.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Men's Decathlon 1500m - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 18/08/2016. Ashton Eaton (USA) of USA and his wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton after winning the gold. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson