PRs: 8891 decathlon (1992 U.S. record, former world record), 10.23 (100m), 13.47 (110HH), 26-6.75 (LJ)
Born: July 18, 1966, in Portland, Ore.
Current Residence: Moscow, Idaho
High School: Henley HS, Klamath Falls, Ore. '84
College: Idaho '89
Coach: Rick Sloan
Career Highlights: 1996 Olympic gold medalist; 3-time World Champion (1995, '93, '91); five-time national champion.
O'Brien has competed in one decathlon since 1996, winning the 1998 Goodwill Games. O'Brien was adopted at age two and raised in a large family with a wide racial mix. His athleticism was clear, in high school winning four state track titles his senior year and making all-state in football and basketball. O'Brien scored well in the decathlon in 1988 but was dogged by injury problems...In 1992, he avenged a no-height performance in the pole vault at the Olympic Trials - which kept him off the decathlon team - to set the world record later in the year. It was one of several challenges and misfortunes O'Brien has overcome: he admitted in 1994 that he had battled a drinking problem and that he was under medication for Attention Deficit Disorder, and a stress fracture in his right leg in 1997 kept him from competing. He spent 1997 in Arizona and returned to Moscow, Idaho, for serious training in fall...clinched the Olympic gold in 1996 with a PR performance in the javelin...has several times been in world record contention with one event left, but the 1500 has proved to be a nemesis... tied with Bill Toomey for the most nationals wins ever, at five...unable to compete in 2000 Olympic Trials after straining the plantar fascia in his left arch while training.
2003: Did not compete in decathlon.
2002: Did not compete in decathlon.
2001: Did not compete in decathlon.
2000: Did not compete in decathlon...strained plantar fascia in left arch while training.
1999: Best of 13.72 in 110HH... did not compete in decathlon.
1998: Won Goodwill Games (8755) in his only outing of the year...ranked #1 in world by T&FN for a record sixth year.
1997: Did not compete (stress fracture).
1996: Olympic Gold medalist (8824)...won Olympic Trials (8726) ...4th in USA Indoor 60H, 12th in LJ...ranked #1 in world by T&FN...best of 8824.
1995: World Championships gold medalist (8695) ...won USA Outdoors (8682)...ranked #1 in world by T&FN...best of 8695.
1994: Won USA Outdoors (8707)...ranked #1 in world by T&FN...best of 8715.
1993: World Championships gold medalist (8817MR)... also won World Indoor heptathlon (6476)...and USA Outdoors decathlon (8331)...ranked #1 in world by T&FN...best of 8817.
1992: Set world record of 8891 in Talence, France, beating Olympic champ Robert Zmelik by 547 points...won USA Indoor pentathlon...11th in Olympic Trials after no-heighting in pole vault... ranked #2 in world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN...best of 8891
1991: World Championships gold medalist (8812 AR, MR) ...won USA Outdoors (8844w)...ranked #1 in world by T&FN...best of 8844w.
1990: 2nd in USA Outdoors...ranked #4 in world (#2 U.S) by T&FN...best of 8483w.
1989: 7th in NCAA Indoor 55H, 10th in LJ...ranked #10 U.S. by T&FN...best of 7987.
1988: Did not finish Olympic Trials, after injuring leg in long jump... best of 7891.
1985-87: Did not compete.
1984: 4th in USA Juniors...best of 6882.
1983: Best of 6438.
1982: Best of 5583.