Daniel Dion "Dan" O'Brien (born July 18, 1966) is an American athlete. A decathlete, his 1990s achievements in the decathlon included the winning of an Olympic gold medal in 1996, and, previous to that, three consecutive titles at the World Championships in Athletics.
Dan O'Brien is of African American and Finnish heritage and grew up as an adopted child in an Irish-American family in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He graduated from Henley High School in 1984 and the University of Idaho, where he competed in track and field for the Vandals.
After initially flunking out of the university and then incurring legal difficulties, O'Brien attended Spokane Falls Community College, a community college in Spokane, Washington in 1988. He returned to the UI to compete for the Vandal track team and complete his bachelor's degree.
O'Brien trained for his Olympic and world championships under Idaho's track coach, Mike Keller. He took second place at the Goodwill Games in Seattle in 1990...
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