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Ashton Eaton wants to be the first person on Mars

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Olympic decathlon champ Ashton Eaton‘s recent life changes included a retirement and an edit to his Twitter bio, which now partially reads, “I’m deciding what to do next. Being the 1st person on Mars would be cool.”

“That is a pretty serious idea and goal of mine,” Eaton said, according to ESPN.com, after he and wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton announced the end of their track and field careers Wednesday. “But I have to think about my family, my future, the family I might have one day with kids. And Brianne is not too thrilled about it. Because especially if you are on the first space ship, there is a good chance you won’t make it. Do I really want to put my family through that?”

Eaton’s Twitter bio also lists interests of education, transportation, infrastructure, architecture and energy.

“I would prefer he does those,” rather than Mars, Theisen-Eaton said Thursday. “I’m not a fan of going to Mars. He’s actually said, Bri, how cool would it be if we both went to Mars and had the first Martian? I was like, no, we’re not doing that. I’m the one who’s going to have a kid on Mars, and I’m not cool with that. So, not happening. I’m hoping that’s more of a joke than anything.”

Eaton’s fascination with the red planet is nothing new. In February, while in a New York hotel room, he found an online contest put on by a British group to design a map symbol for Mars.

“I sent in a hand sketch that, looking back on it, it was obviously really bad,” Eaton said Thursday. “Basically it was a space boot with an emblem.”

Eaton later blogged about his exploration desires for the British group. The winner’s design was a landing-craft symbol.

The Eatons are 28 years old. Time is running out if they want to go to Mars.

“I think it’s kind of like track,” Eaton said. “You’re close to making the Olympic team, but all of a sudden you get an injury. That can be something like a rocket going up and just completely blowing up. That’ll delay stuff a really long time. We’re going to put humans in this thing? The chance increases that people die. … All things going well, I think we’re always close.”

MORE: Eatons’ coach says they’re retiring at the right time

2022 Pan Pacific Championships canceled as swimming calendar shifts

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The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a quadrennial major international meet, will not be held in 2022 “out of respect for the recent changes to the international sporting calendar,” according to a press release.

The Pan Pacs’ charter nations — the U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan — agreed to the move. The 2026 event will be held in Canada, which was supposed to be the 2022 host.

The decision came after the 2021 World Championships were moved to May 2022, following the Tokyo Olympics moving from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The quadrennial multi-sport Commonwealth Games — which includes Australia and Canada, but not the U.S. or Japan — are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 7, 2022.

“Organizing a third major championships in that window presented several challenges,” according to the Pan Pacs release.

Pan Pacs mark the third-biggest major international meet for U.S. swimmers, held in non-Olympic, non-world championships years.

MORE: Caeleb Dressel co-hosts a podcast. It’s not about swimming.

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Boston Marathon canceled for first time after 123 years; virtual event planned

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The Boston Marathon, held every year since 1897, has been canceled as an in-person event for the first time. It will be held as a virtual race instead due to the coronavirus.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Boston Athletic Association (BAA) CEO Tom Grilk said in a press release.

The world’s oldest annual marathon had been postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14, it was announced March 13.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he first considered canceling the postponed marathon during a coronavirus surge in April.

“We were maxed out in our hospital emergency rooms,” Walsh said Thursday. “I realized that the downside of the curve, which we were on, the backside of the curve, is going to be going for some time. The concern of a second surge made me have some real reservations about can we have the marathon or not.”

Walsh said experts said a potential second surge would be between August and October. He held out hope to hold the race until talking with the BAA last week.

All participants originally registered for Boston will be offered a full refund of their entry fee and have the opportunity to participate in the virtual alternative, which can be run between Sept. 7-14.

More details, including entry information, will be announced in the coming weeks.

It’s the biggest alteration to the Boston Marathon, which was inspired by the marathon’s debut at the first modern Olympics in 1896. Previously, the biggest change came in 1918, the last year of World War I. The marathon was still held on Patriots’ Day in April but as a 10-man military relay race.

The original 2020 Boston elite fields included two-time U.S. Olympian Des Linden, the 2018 Boston winner who was fourth at the Feb. 29 Olympic Trials, where the top three earned Olympic spots.

London is the world’s other major spring marathon. It was rescheduled from April 27 to Oct. 4. Its original fields for April were headlined by the two fastest men in history — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele. It’s unknown if they will remain in the field, should London happen.

The fall major marathon schedule

Boston — Sept. 7-14 (virtual event)
Berlin — TBD (will not be held as planned on Sept. 27)
London — Oct. 4
Chicago — Oct. 11
New York City — Nov. 1

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results