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  • 12 March 2019
    导出博客文章RIO DE JANEIRO -- The worlds greatest athlete hates being called The Worlds
    Greatest Athlete.He hears it every time he is introduced at an event, or meets
    sponsors, or is paraded in front of a TV camera. But the reality is that Ashton
    Eaton is far too humble for such a title -- he is so humble, in fact, that he
    hides his gold medal under his shirt when nobody is looking.They like me to wear
    it, he says sheepishly, but I dont like to.The two-time Olympic decathlon
    champion is wrapping up another round of commitments, this time for his sponsor
    Visa, when he sits down at an out-of-the-way table in an upscale hotel just off
    Copacabana Beach. Three stories down and out the front doors, thousands of
    Cariocas have begun partying the night away after Brazils victory over Germany
    in the Olympic soccer tournament.Eaton hasnt had a chance to party yet.Hes
    hardly had a chance to breathe.Ever since winning his latest gold medal Thursday
    night, matching an Olympic points record in the process, hes been pulled in a
    hundred different directions. He managed three hours of sleep after he left
    Olympic Stadium that night, then had to rise early for another round of
    interviews.Eaton takes it in stride, though. He knows that people are eager to
    hear from him, and he is just as eager to meet with those who have supported him
    the past eight years.Its kind of like networking, he says, for when I start
    thinking about what is next.In truth, Eaton is already thinking about whats
    next. Hes been on top of the decathlon world for the better part of a decade,
    and in a one-on-one interview with The Associated Press on Saturday night, he
    acknowledged that retirement is coming soon.He may compete next year. He may
    not.But there is no chance youll see him at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Its not
    because time is catching him, like so many rivals have failed to do. The
    28-year-old Eaton would probably medal in Tokyo, if not win a third straight
    gold. Its more that Eaton and his wife, Canadian heptathlon bronze medalist
    Brianne Theisen-Eaton, have other things they want to pursue, their lives in no
    way measured solely on the field of play.Id like to spend some time traveling,
    Eaton says, seeing organizations and getting a sense of what I want to do, and
    seeing how the world works.One of his idols is Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, whose
    spirit of ingenuity has inspired the decathlete. Eaton says Musk has an uncanny
    ability to look at something that other people would dismiss as impossible and
    figure out a way to make it work.I just like the way he thinks in the sense that
    his impact is from a foundation of not listening or accepting things the way
    they are, Eaton explains. Its something a lot of people dont want to do because
    its hard work.So, what does Eaton fancy trying? What is something that has too
    long been defined by the status quo, and that could use a fresh set of ideas to
    push it forward?It turns out the answer is big. Bigger even than electric cars.I
    thought itd be cool to start my own university, in a way, says Eaton, an Oregon
    graduate. Universities are like a utopia in a way, because youre mentally
    stimulated, youre challenged, and you have a lot of young, creative minds
    wanting to do new things, different things. Better things.But I dont think the
    current university systems are set up to allow people to meet their potential,
    he says. You just kind of go through the meat-grinder. Youre in a class with 300
    people, doing rote regurgitation of information. It would be cool to do
    something different.Eaton hasnt fully fleshed out this idea, of course. Hes been
    a little busy becoming The Worlds Greatest Athlete. But the simple fact he is
    pondering these things 48 hours after standing on an Olympic podium speaks to
    Eatons character and personality.He is driven more by the pursuit of a goal than
    the baubles that come with achieving it.Take the decathlon competition in Rio,
    for instance. He says the only time he was proud of himself throughout the
    two-day, 10-event grind was during the pole vault on the final day.There was a
    situation where if I didnt clear this bar, it was over. No medal chance, he
    says. And I did, and I was like, `Im proud of myself for doing that. Because I
    had a lot of doubts going down the runway. I thought, `I could miss this and
    blow the whole damn thing. But I overcame that. That was good.So good it spurred
    him on to another gold medal. It will soon join his one from the 2012 London
    Games, which is not hanging proudly at home but rather stuck in a box in a
    crawlspace.He admits there are things he will miss about track and field, once
    he does finally call it quits: the circus-like atmosphere in the stadium, the
    pressure that builds throughout the events, the shining spotlight on the worlds
    biggest stage. But perhaps what Eaton will miss most is its black-and-white
    nature, every bit of the competition spelled out.Jump this high, run this fast,
    throw this far.Thats what has always been good about track. The goal is very
    clearly defined: Try to win. Get the gold medal. And Im able to put my energy
    toward that, Eaton says. The difficulty now is whats the gold medal in something
    else? Now I have to make up my own gold medal.Whats going to be the next victory
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    . -- About a third of the way through the regular
    season, the Washington Wizards are at . CHICAGO -- Carl Edwards?knows that
    Toyotas have led more than half the laps and have won half the races in 2016.He
    knows that, with a seasoned crew chief in Dave Rogers, he has as good a chance
    as any of the five Toyotas -- Edwards and his three Joe Gibbs Racing teammates
    as well as JGR affiliate Furniture Row Racings Martin Truex Jr. -- to win the
    2016 Sprint Cup title.Those chances are good. Really good. Like, if you were in
    charge of designing a championship T-shirt, youd be smart to work on designs of
    Toyota drivers first.If you step back and look, Ive never been in a better
    position, Edwards said Thursday. I feel like definitely we have the experience.
    We have the cars, the engines, the pit crew, the crew chief.Ive got all the
    parts. I just need to go win the championship.But therein lies the issue.
    Edwards felt the same way in 2011 at Roush Fenway Racing, where he ended up
    tying Tony Stewart atop the standings, with Stewart earning the crown thanks to
    five wins in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.It wont take five wins to earn the
    championship in the current format, an elimination-style Chase that sets up four
    drivers with an equal shot at the finale at Homestead.The Chase field of 16
    drivers will take the green flag Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway with a similar
    goal of surviving the elimination rounds and having a shot at Homestead.Over a
    10-race stretch, it would be more difficult to beat them than it would in a
    one-race event, said six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. In one race,
    anything can happen.The odds really shift and change, and we hope we make it to
    the final four and then hope we have the best Homestead race of our lives. ... I
    dont have to beat them for 10 weeks. I have just got to beat them once.Of the
    drivers outside the Toyota camp, only Kevin Harvick is among the top five in
    laps led this season.Weve just got to take good cars to the racetrack and do our
    job on pit road, said Harvick crew chief Rodney Childers. Weve had good speed.I
    dont think it is a lack of speed by any means. I feel good about what weve got,
    and hopefully it will be good enough.Some non-Toyota drivers have more reason to
    hope than others. They break it down fairly simply as far as what they need to
    do to make it to Homestead.ddddddddddddGo to work, said 2012 Sprint Cup champion
    Brad Keselowski, who drives a Team Penske Ford. Execute. Im giving it my all,
    and I make the assumption that my team is too.If Toyota teams execute, they
    definitely will be hard to beat.Kyle Busch, the top seed in the Chase, has four
    wins this year and has led 16.87 percent of the laps. Truex, with two wins, led
    16.73 percent. After Harvick at 16.42 percent, Toyotas of Edwards (10.06
    percent) and Matt Kenseth (6.64 percent) are next in laps led.I feel good now
    that if we hit 100 percent, we will win, said Denny Hamlin crew chief Mike
    Wheeler, whose driver has won three races but has led only 5.48 percent of the
    laps this year. Thats something you strive for.The only problem is, theres four
    or five of us. We share notes. We work together. We do the best we can for not
    only Joe Gibbs Racing but Toyota. ... All it takes is a flat tire or a crash and
    youre out.All it takes is a piece that costs $10 or less failing and it can cost
    a team or a driver. It happened to Johnson last year with a broken seal at
    Dover. It happened to Hamlin last year with a roof hatch issue at Talladega that
    put him laps down and resulted in his elimination.I consider us the biggest
    favorite, and I consider us the biggest underdog, as well, Hamlin said. I just
    dont know -- were not going to change how anybody else races. We just have to do
    the best we can, and thats the common answer youll hear [from drivers].Because
    of the elimination-style Chase, its likely that another manufacturer other than
    Toyota will have representation at Homestead.And, as Johnson said, once a driver
    gets to Homestead, anything can happen. Maybe thats why Joey Logano feels as
    confident this year as he did in 2015 -- he feels he has enough speed to
    contend.The Chase presents a lot of opportunity -- opportunity to make mistakes,
    the opportunity to make something happen, Logano said. Its the person that takes
    advantage of that who is going to be the guy at Homestead partying away.
    Hopefully were that guy. ' ' '