Canadian Olympic heptathlon medallist Brianne Theisen-Eaton and her American husband Ashton Eaton are retiring.
The decision comes five months after Theisen-Eaton won bronze at the Rio Olympics, and Ashton captured gold in the decathlon.
Track and field’s super couple, who met while competing for the University of Oregon and married in July of 2013, announced their decision on their social media accounts, and side-by-side essays on their website.
“The past 8 years have been truly awesome,” the two said via their Instagram account weareeaton.
“Getting to do something that we love everyday and going after our dreams has given us so much fulfillment in our lives.
“But now we are ready to move on to the next thing, the next passion and the next chapter of our lives. We’re retiring from track and field. Thank you for sharing the journey with us!”
Theisen-Eaton, a 28-year-old from Humboldt, Sask., is a two-time world silver medallist in the heptathlon and won the pentathlon at the 2016 world indoor championships. She holds the Canadian record in the heptathlon.
Eaton is the world record-holder in the decathlon and retires with two Olympic titles, two world titles, and three world indoor titles.
“Crossing the 800m finish line in Rio, I was mentally exhausted,” Theisen-Eaton wrote on the couple’s Facebook page. “I felt like I never wanted to do another heptathlon again. This feeling confused me.
“As the start of the 2017 season drew nearer, I felt more and more resistant to begin training. I gave the last 4 years everything I could. I put my life on hold. I went after what I set out to do and whether I achieved it or not or fell short is not the point. The point is how deep down that I gave it every ounce of energy I had and that if I went back and did it all over again, I would not change a thing; I could not have done anything better.”
Ashton drew the ire of some American fans during the Rio Olympics, when photos showed him cheering on his wife wearing a Canada hat. He took to Twitter to respond, writing: “Have I not represented USA well? Yet u demand more. Ur respect is hard earned. I support the country that produced my wife;who ru2 shame me?
“Are your grandparents from another country? Will your grandchildren be? What then? Hopefully you’ll adopt a more reasonable view.”
The two were coached by American Harry Mara, who was named IAAF coach of the year by the sport’s world governing body.