Canadian athletes Damian Warner and Brianne Theissen-Eaton will run, jump, and throw in Rio

Canadian athletes Damian Warner and Brianne Theissen-Eaton will run, jump, and throw in Rio

Does your child like to run, jump, and throw? These are the fundamental movement skills of an active childhood. They are also the basics of track and field — formally known as Athletics.

For Damian Warner and Brianne Theissen-Eaton, these skills could spell Olympic glory this summer.

At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, these two Canadian athletes are poised to challenge for medals in two athletics events requiring lots of running, jumping, and throwing: decathlon and heptathlon.

The decathlon and the heptathlon are combined events where athletes must complete a series of individual events over two days. Their composite scores from the different events are then tallied to determine the decathlon and heptathlon winners.

It’s physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. You have to be fit, and you have to be skilled.

The decathlon is contested by male athletes, called decathletes, and combines 10 different athletics events:

  1. 100m sprint
  2. 110m hurdles
  3. 400m
  4. 1500m
  5. long jump
  6. high jump
  7. pole vault
  8. shot put
  9. discus throw
  10. javelin throw

The heptathlon is contested by female athletes, called heptathletes, and combines seven different athletics events:

  1. 100m hurdles
  2. 200m sprint
  3. 800m
  4. long jump
  5. high jump
  6. shot put
  7. javelin throw

The modern decathlon and heptathlon are rooted in the pentathlon competitions of the ancient Greek Olympics. The Greek pentathlons featured five events: sprint, long jump, discus throw, javelin throw, and wrestling.

If you want to watch and cheer for Damian and Brianne at Rio 2016, check out the CBC’s online schedule.

When your kids find themselves inspired, get your entire family competing in our Backyard Decathlon, which is designed so that kids can challenge — and beat — adults.

And if these Canadians inspire your son or daughter to get into running, jumping, and throwing in a big way, be sure to check out the Run Jump Throw Wheel (RJTW) program developed by Athletics Canada.

RJTW has been recognized as a quality program for improving kids’ physical literacy, and it just might provide the launch pad for your child’s career in sport.

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