As a young athlete, it was first about having fun; then it was about winning.
There is nothing better than having a personal-best day, being in shape and pushing myself beyond my own limits.
When I was little, I wasn`t allowed to put sugar on my breakfast cereal because it made me so hyper.
You have to be able to be a good loser. You have to be okay knowing you`re going to fail every day in something without getting mad and upset.
As a young child, I was never a crier. I never cried to get my way, or even when I was in pain.
To me, the decathlon is its own little society and I am part of that culture.
I think what my parents did was perfect. They were strict, concerned about my safety and held me back just a little.
You need to become more than one type of athlete. You have to be a sprinter, a weight man and a distance guy all in one.
I call myself a chameleon.
It`s important for me to think I`m mixed-race.
Take pride in exactly what it is you do and remember it`s okay to fail as long as you don`t give up.
And there is such a thing as a decathlon high. It`s like a rock rolling down hill, picking up momentum. You get better and better.
It took me time to realize that the men who won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon are just men, just like me.
Through everything I`ve gone through- and I`ve been everywhere, at the top of the world, in jail, hung over drunk - I never gave up my dream of winning a gold medal in the Olympics.
It really means a lot that I won the gold medal - but I woke up the next morning expecting to feel different. I felt the same.
The decathlon includes ten separate events and they all matter. You can`t work on just one of them.
If you never give up, you`ll be successful.