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ALSO SEEJenner true to word, wins Olympic gold
One specifying momentBy Mike Sielski
Special to

"All of a sudden, I realized life was different. Wait a 2nd. Everybody knows my name," says Bruce Jenner on Classic"s SportsCentury series.

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Bruce Jenner might be the world"s most famous World"s Greatest Athlete.
Bruce Jenner damaged his own people record to capture gold in the 1976 Olympics.
He owes his notoriety to a confluence of forces that came together and also branched out from the two a lot of vital days of his life: July 29 and also 30, 1976 -- as soon as he won the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon in Montgenuine.

Jenner"s life melds a organize of sports stories that have end up being cliches. He was the solitary, single-minded slave to training who forsook many earthly pleasures to prepare for his moment of glory. Dyslexic, he fit the timeless redemptive mold -- the athlete that struggresulted in conquer ailment or hardship to achieve excellence. And struggle he did. From his 10th-area finish in the decathlon at the 1972 Gamings till the 1976 Olympics, he trained, on average, eight hours a day.

At Montactual, amid the warmth of the Cold War, he was the all-Amerideserve to boy, at 26 bringing home a gold medal in the year of the Bicentennial. Competing in the 10-occasion, track-and-field crucible that traditionally crowns the "world"s greatest athlete," he beat a Soviet, defending champion Nikolai Avilov, breaking his own people record via 8,618 points.

The image of Jenner that forever endures is a painting on the front of a grain box. He has been drawn in a red, white and blue tank top and shorts, frozen in mid-run. His ideal knee is bent deeply. His arms are aloft in a triumphant V, as if he"s making a victory lap and delivering a banner through the word "WHEATIES" swooshed across it. The perfect athlete for the perfect food.

Post-Montreal, he was the hero who seized upon his celebrity to build an presence in which no life event -- excellent, small, great, negative -- escaped the spotlight"s beam. There were Bruce Jenner T-shirt, Bruce Jenner dolls, Bruce Jenner board games. So newsworthy was he, The Washington Article did a 1,007-word story on him six months after the 1976 Olympics because he was doing ... nothing. (The story"s headline read: "Jenner: Cheertotally Out of Shape.")

He inevitably came to be a shade commentator, an actor, a motivational speaker, and also a pitchguy for, among various other commodities, commemorative Olympic coins.

He has been married 3 times. The first was to his college sweetheart (Chrystie) whose salary of $900 per month as a stewardess allowed him to prepare so obsessively for Montactual. The second was to a former girlfriend of Elvis Presley (Linda Thompson). Now he"s married to a dear friend of Nicole Brvery own Simpkid (the previous Kris Kardashian). People magazine need to have had actually a Bruce Jenner beat.

He was born on Oct. 28, 1949 in Mount Kisco, N.Y., to William and also Esther Jenner. Raised in Tarrytown, a suburb of New York City, his predilection for track and also field was, at least in component, in his genes. His father had won a silver medal in the 100-yard dash in the 1945 U.S. Army Olympics in Nuremberg, Germany type of.

"By the time I turned 2, I"d already occurred a huge chest, wide shoulders and also boundless energy, prompting my dad to nickname me Bruiser," Jenner composed in his book, Finding the Champion Within. "Trying to curb my wanderlust, my parental fees fenced in their yard."

At residence on a playing field, he labored in the classroom. He flunked second grade. It wasn"t until junior high that a college medical professional supplied the word "dyslexic" in his presence.

"My best fear was going to college," he said. "I was afrhelp the teacher was going to make me check out in front of class and I was going to look negative. if I wasn"t dyslexic, I more than likely wouldn"t have won the Gamings. If I had been a far better reader, then that would have come easily, sports would have come easily. And I never would certainly have actually realized that the way you acquire ahead in life is difficult job-related."

In August 1966, the Jenner household moved to Sandy Hook, Conn. Wanting to reprimary on Sleepy Hollow High School"s football team till the finish of the seachild, Bruce, a junior, lived with a frifinish till December before joining his household and also moving to Newtown High.

Tbelow, he was the school"s MVP in footsphere, basketball and, of course, track. By his senior year, he was completing in the lengthy jump, triple jump and javelin and was the state champion in the pole vault (clearing 13 feet) and also the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches).

An athletic director at one more institution approached Jenner at a track meet and told him he knew L.D. Weldon, who coached the decathlon at Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. Weldon called Jenner, telling him the school"s footround team necessary a backup quarterback and the track team required a decathlete.

After his applications to UConn and Central Connecticut were rejected and came to via the possibility of being drafted to fight in Vietnam, Jenner welcomed a football scholarship to Graceland also. The scholarship"s value: $250 a year.

Jenner trained an average of eight hour a day for four years up until his Olympic triumph.
Under Weldon, Jenner won the 1971 NAIA decathlon championship and qualified for the 1972 Olympics after coming from 11th place at the UNITED STATE Trials at the finish of the first day to complete third. He clinched his spot by running what was then a personal-finest 4:16 in the 1,500 meters.

At the Games in Munich, he came in 10th. "It"s still the biggest athletic thrill of my life," he said. "Never, ever in a million years did I think I"d be completing in the Olympics."

With Chrystie supporting them, the Jenner"s relocated to San Jose, Calif., so Bruce might workout with the peak UNITED STATE track and field competitors. After four years of relentless training, after winning the National AAU title in 1974 and the Pan-Amerihave the right to Games in 1975, after breaking Avilov"s world record in 1975 via 8,524 points and beating it by 14 points at the UNITED STATE Olympic Trials in 1976, Jenner did what he intended himself to do. He won the Olympic gold medal.

Then the 6-foot-2, 194-pound Jenner ran his victory lap and reexhausted that day. He shelp he had offered up also much to gain tbelow. "Not extremely many type of civilization are ever before in a instance where they can uncover out just how good they can be in anypoint that challenges them," he shelp. "I made the commitment to myself in 1972 to go to the Olympics in 1976. This would certainly be the just opportunity in my totality life to prove to myself how much I could go."

Ever since coming to be a matinee idol via his Olympic victory, Jenner has actually spared himself few enjoyments. He appeared on a organize of television reflects, including "Murder, She Wrote" and "ChiPs," though his career as an actor sputtered even more frequently than it succeeded. As a motivational speaker, he commanded as a lot as $15,000 per appearance from suppliers such as VISA, Toyota, Coca Cola and IBM.

In 1979, through their second son on the means, the Jenner"s were legally separated after salso years. It was reported that Jenner was associated romantically with Thompchild, whom Jenner had met at a tennis tournament hosted by Hugh Hefner.

In January 1981, Jenner married Thompboy through whom he had two even more children. They separated in 1986. Jenner"s two divorces cost him millions. He moved right into a one-room apartment in Los Angeles, had just a pair of hundred dollars in the financial institution and also a healthy and balanced debt. His beautiful human being had fallen acomponent.

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But Jenner rebounded in the 1990s with the assist of Kris Kardashian, a divorcee with four kids whom he married in 1991. They have 2 kids of their own and the household stays in Hidden Hills, Calif. The couple runs an infomercial firm that supposedly sold even more than $450 million in fitness equipment through 1999.

About his life, Jenner has said, "Nobody has actually milked one performance better than me -- and also I"m damn proud of it. It completely amazes me exactly how this totality thing turned out."