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Saskatchewan's Theisen-Eaton wins silver in heptathlon

The Canadian Press

8/13/2013 4:47:37 PM

MOSCOW -- For their honeymoon, Mr. and Mrs. Eaton went to Russia.

Once there, the first couple of multi-events turned the world championships into the Newlywed Game, complimenting their new wedding rings with a pair of shiny medals.

Not quite matching, but that hardly mattered to Canada's Brianne Theisen Eaton, who picked up the silver medal in the heptathlon on Tuesday night.

This after watching her husband of all of one month, Ashton Eaton, capture gold in the decathlon two days earlier. Not to mention watching him claim the Olympic title in London.

Finally, it was her turn to shine.

"I've always watched him get his medals and think, 'I wonder what that feels like?"' said Theisen Eaton, who finished 56 points behind winner Ganna Melnichenko of Ukraine. "Now I'm getting a little taste of it."

The Eatons went to the University of Oregon together and were married on July 13. Since then, they've been planning for this big adventure, postponing any thought of a honeymoon.

"The perfect time to go lay on the beach," Theisen Eaton said. "But if we did that, I'd just shut my eyes and in 10 minutes he would go, 'How much longer are we going to lay here? Let's go play volleyball or something.' He can't sit around too long."

He was squirming in the stands, too, trying to encourage his wife to a gold medal. She could hear his motivating words even through the noise of the crowd cheering on local favourite Yelena Isinbayeva in the pole vault.

After the final event, the 800, he took a backseat.

"He said, 'Good job. Enjoy your victory lap,"' Theisen Eaton said. "He just wanted me to have my moment."

Soaking up the scene was their coach, Harry Marra. He means so much to the couple they had Marra serve as the pastor at the wedding.

They mean so much to him that he couldn't stop beaming or bragging.

"Two great kids," Marra said.

Usually, Ashton Eaton is so unflappable. Even when he was setting his world record in the rain last June in Eugene, Oregon, he hardly seemed nervous.

Only once has Marra ever seen Eaton rattled -- when he placed the ring on Theisen Eaton's finger.

"As cool as a cucumber as he is, at that part of the wedding, and he will probably get ticked off I said this ... I looked and Ashton was (shaking)," Marra said. "Somebody shoot video, because Ashton Eaton is shaking. He never shakes."

Not even when a javelin thrown by his wife buzzes by his face.

Eaton was training in California four months ago when he went out to collect his two javelins from the throwing area. She was still working with Marra and had one toss left.

Eaton was about 15 metres (50 feet) to the left of her when he heard his name being screamed. A flash went right by his right shoulder.

"I was thinking, 'All right, how are we going to rehab that? I figured it's going right through his shoulder," Marra said. "She screamed bloody murder at the top of her lungs."

It worked. Eaton dodged the javelin but ended up a scratch on his face.

"He came over and was like, 'I'm fine,"' Theisen Eaton recounted. "I looked at him and I was like, 'Did I hit you?' He's like, 'No.'

"After, he's like, 'I knew it hit me, but I didn't want you to get worried."'