Childhood & Early Life
Daley Thompson was born on July 30, 1958 in Notting Hill, London to Frank Thompson and Lydia Thompson. His father was a taxi driver. Thompson lost his father at the age of twelve, when his father was shot dead in Streatham.
He gained his early education from Farney Close Boarding School, Bolney, Sussex. Early on, he aimed to make a career in football but switched to athletics soon after.
At the age of 14, he was introduced to a local athletics club, Haywards Health Harriers. Almost immediately, he carved an impression on the sports league, with everyone believing that he was born to be an athlete. He ranked fourth in the English Schools Intermediate 200m.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
After completing his studies, Thompson left for London. In London, he signed up at the Newham & Essex Beagles Athletic Club, training as a sprinter. Under Bob Mortimer’s guidance, Thompson tried for decathlon. He competed in his first decathlon later that year in Cwmbran, Wales, which he won along with his next competition.
In 1976, Thompson was named in the British team for the Olympic Games in Montreal. He was not even 18 until then. He finished the game at the 18th position, being the youngest player to make a stand. Following year, he won the European Junior title and stood fifth in the Long Jump.
In 1978, Thompson gained the first of his three Commonwealth titles. He finished second at the European Championship in Prague. With every victory, Thompson’s confidence zoomed upwards.
Year 1980 marked the start of a glorious career record for Thompson. In one of the best track and field event in Gotzis, Austria, Thompson broke the decathlon world record with a score of 8648. He followed this with a comfortable win at the Moscow Olympics.
Thompson’s form dwindled in 1981 but he came back to his best at the Gotzis in May 1982 where he set yet another world record at 8730 points. Later in Brisbane the same year, he bagged his second Commonwealth title. He clutched his first European Championship gold medal the same year in Athens.
In 1983, Thompson won the inaugural World Championships at Helsinki, becoming the first decathlete to hold a continental title. He also became the first athlete to hold the European, World, Commonwealth and Olympics title all at the same time.
At the 1984 Olympics at Los Angeles, Thompson successfully defended his title against Jurgen Hingsen, his major opponent and world record holder. Thompson finished the game as a sole record holder with 8847 points, a feat that stood until 1992 when America’s Dan O’Brien surpassed the score with his 8891 points. This turned out Thompson’s second victory in decathlon at the Olympics. He became the second athlete to win gold twice, first being Bob Mathias.
In 1986, Thompson won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games held at Edinburgh winning his third title in the championships. Iame year, he won bronze in the 4X100m relay race in European Championship in Stuttgart.
Having being a champion for straight nine years, in 1987, Thompson suffered from his first defeat in decathlon at the World Championship where he finished at the ninth position. He participated in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and finished at the fourth position.
Continue Reading Below
In 1990, Thompson made it to the Commonwealth Games team but was forced to withdraw because of injury. Two years later, he was forced to retire from athletics due to persistent hamstring injury.
Post athletics, Thompson switched to his first love, football, yet again. He played professional football for Mansfield Town and Stevenage F.C. and Non-League football for Ilkeston F.C. He also worked as fitness coach for Wimbledon F.C. and Luton Town football clubs. In 1994, Thompson tried his hand at motorsports, taking part in the Ford Credit Fiesta Challenge Championship
Sporting career apart, Thompson worked as a fitness trainer and motivational speaker. He appeared at various corporate events. He also did a couple of television commercials. His name was used for three officially licensed home computer games by Ocean Software - Daley Thompson's Decathlon, Daley Thompson's Supertest and Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge.
In 2012, Thompson served as an ambassador for the London Summer Olympics. As an ambassador, he highlighted the benefits that hosting Olympics brings to education and sport in schools.
In 2015, Thompson turned an entrepreneur with his own gym, known as Daley Fitness. The gym is located at the Upper Richmond Road in London, UK.
Awards & Achievements
From 1978 to 1987 he remained an undefeated champion in all competitions. He won gold medals in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics and became the first athlete to hold the European, World, Commonwealth and the Olympics titles simultaneously.
In 1982, he was honoured as the member of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire title (MBE).
In 1986, he was awarded with the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) and in 2000 with the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).