Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Decathletes Struggle for Any Recognition

From the New York Times

OSAKA, Japan, Sept. 1 — Simply to see what would happen, Paul Terek, a United States decathlete, wore a baseball cap bearing his name in Japanese when he landed at the Osaka airport a few weeks ago. Some children there took the bait.

The decathlete Paul Terek, who finished 10th over all, during the long jump Friday. “Right away, they noticed and were pointing: ‘Ah, you are Sasuke! Sasuke!’ ” said Terek, who is 6 feet 2 inches and 194 pounds. “For a couple of minutes, I really felt like a movie star or something. It was crazy.”

Terek may not be competing in the most high-profile sport at the track and field world championships, and he may not be the top American decathlete here. But in Japan, he made a name for himself by doing something completely different.

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