EUGENE, Ore. -- Hundreds of fans showed up to the Downtown Athletic Club, in Eugene, to honor Olympians Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton on Tuesday night.
The two University of Oregon track and field stars were featured guests for the monthly TrackTown Tuesday gathering.
Ashton Eaton is a two-time Olympic champion and world decathlon record-holder.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton is an Olympic bronze medalist in the heptathlon and the reigning world indoor pentathlon champion.
Both announced their retirements last month.
They touched on a variety of topics, from a new puppy to their greatest phobias — Brianne’s was spiders, while Ashton fears dying before the age of 100.
Here are some of the comments from the Q and A session with the local media:
What has life been like since announcing your retirement in January?
Ashton: It’s been busy, it’s been real busy. I think the athlete side kicked in and we need to do something. Zora (puppy).
Any long term projects you’re working on?
Brianne: Transitioning the Eaton website and switching it into food education. Passionate about helping people understand the misinformation we’re receiving from the industry and also helping with childhood obesity and obesity in general. Going to spend the year researching.
Ashton: I’m spending the year purposely doing a research project. What should I do next?
Brianne: I call it ‘fun-employment’
Ashton: There is a project I’m working on currently. I was telling a buddy of mine I’m done and I don’t really have any skills outside of athletics. So I’m helping put on a video game conference in Portland. I grew up playing games so I thought it was a good experience. It’s Easter weekend. BetaCon, which is pretty sweet. I’m working with a team that’s all over the world on an app for fantasy track and field called Roster Athletics. It’s coming out in a couple of days on Android.
Read somewhere you might be interested in teaching?
Ashton: Yeah, so education is big for me just based on my past and some of the things I’ve observed. Not necessarily teaching but education reformation. I think there’s a better way to teach young kids or a better way for kids to develop. Some stuff on that will come out pretty soon.
Will you still stay involved in the sport?
Brianne: I wouldn’t say that we’ll be involved in it in terms of a job or coaching or being a part of federations or anything like that. I could see us getting involved in just speaking out, like a voice We’ll always be fans, living in Eugene, we’ll be at a lot of meets. We love the Olympics. We’ll be fans always.
Ashton: We’ve done everything we could do in the sport, so we were thinking what else can we do outside of it? Maybe it’s the nature of what we did in track with multiple events, just having different things going on. We were kind of thinking, 'OK, what’s the next thing outside of sport?' We’ll be involved in those ways, but I think mostly it’s outside of sport focused.
How was your red carpet experience?
Ashton: Awe man, the Golden Globes is unreal. It was unreal.
Brianne: Ashton and I kept equating it to the Olympic village because it’s so exclusive… It’s all these celebrities and nobody is bothering them because they’re all celebrities. It was cool for us to introduce ourselves to people, everyone was really nice.
Ashton: Some of the most awesome interactions were, Shawn Levy who puts on ‘Stranger Things.’ He’s Canadian and he was like, “Oh my gosh, I know who you guys are. Me, my four girls and my wife sat down and watched you guys.” I was pumped about that.
Do you still work out?
Brianne: We work out a lot. That was the number one thing when we got the dog. We had to come home and make a schedule and the number one thing we put on the schedule was work out. It’s just part of who we are. We do different stuff.