Tom Pappas

Year Honored:
Lane, University of Tennessee


Following a dream season, former Vol decathlete Tom Pappas enters this 2004 Olympic year in the prime of his career. Pappas concluded the year by winning the Jesse Owens Award, the most prestigious award in American track and field, and the Jim Thorpe Award for outstanding U.S. male decathlon competitor. Pappas swept indoor and outdoor world titles in the heptathlon and decathlon, respectively, to emerge as the favorite for the awards. Pappas, who continues to train in Knoxville under Tennessee head coach Bill Webb, offered up a 2003 to remember. He established himself as one of the greatest decatheletes in U.S. history after his gold-medal performances in the decathlon at the World Outdoor Championships and the heptathlon at World Indoors. Pappas had the most successful season by a U.S. decathlete in a decade and finished the year with a No. 1 world ranking.

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