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.”
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.”Follow @nzaccardi