Issue Date: May 2, 1996
City: Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
The decathlon is a 10-even contest that takes place over two days. Athletes compete in the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot-put, high jump, 400-meter run, in that order, on the first day. On the second day they compete in the 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, and 1,500-meter run. Decathlon winners are considered the all-around track and field champions, and often receive great public recognition.
Participants are scored for their performance in each event according to time and distance standards established by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), rather than competing directly against each other. The athlete scoring the most points is the winner. Over the years, these standards have been revised four times to reflect the general improvement of worldwide athletic achievement. The last changes, made in 1964, give favor to athletes who score well in each event.
The decathlon first became an Olympic sport in 1912 (it was then a three-day event). Nine American athletes have won the decathlon at the Olympics; Jim Thorpe in 1912, Harold Osborn in 1924, James Bausch in 1932, Glenn Morris in 1936, Bob Mathias in 1948 and 1952, Milton Campbell in 1956, Rafer Johnson in 1960, Bill Toomey in 1968, and Bruce Jenner in 1976.