Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

About

Khalifa Stadium, Doha
during the 2019 World Championships

I’m Gabby Pieraccini, and I’m a decathlon writer and analyst, and the founder of “Decathletes of Europe”.

I grew up with the almighty decathlon battles between Daley Thompson and Jürgen Hingsen. I was fascinated by two people who looked so different in stature, and with such different temperaments, competing in the same event.

The stories behind the combined events, and the decathlon with its particular combination of speed, strength and technique, captured my imagination. And so, I was hooked. Decades later, I still am.  

In 2019 I turned that passion and knowledge into something practical, and I founded “Decathletes of Europe.” While the name pays homage to the great European decathletes of history and to my love for decathlon, I’m an enthusiast of all combined events, for men and women.

I rejoiced in Berlin in 2009 at Trey Hardee’s and Jessica Ennis’ glorious golds and winced in Birmingham in 2007 as Josef Karas limped around the 1000m. I cheered in Glasgow in 2014 as Ashton Eaton excelled over 400m hurdles and cried along with Arthur Abele as he won gold in Berlin in 2018. And I had the fortune to be soaked in the champagne spray in Talence in 2018 that followed Kevin Mayer’s breath-taking world record.

So, in February 2019, over a glass of wine at the end of the first day of the combined events meeting in snowy Tallinn, I launched this website and the accompanying Instagram and Twitter pages.

Every decathlon has a story and I do my best to tell those stories. As well as competition previews and reports, you’ll find features on athletes and analysis of policy developments in the combined events, such as world rankings. I also promote the voices and experiences of female decathletes.

My work has been published by World Athletics, European Athletics, Athletics Weekly and other athletics platforms. I provided livestream commentary and analysis at the Arona combined events meeting in 2021 and 2022 and was a speaker at the European Athletics Coaches Association International Festival of Coaching in 2021.

Away from sport I have over twenty years’ experience in strategy, policy and stakeholder relationships in the public sector in Scotland. I am an experienced public speaker and panel member, and expert in navigating and influencing decision-making structures.

I use those transferable skills to advocate for the interests of combined eventers, particularly on field sizes, and I am an adviser to the Athletics Association “We Are The Sport”. I am also a sports journalism mentor in the “Women in Journalism Scotland” network.

Throughout the year you’ll find me trackside on the international combined events circuit, or in the mixed zone at European and World championships. Please do say hello, and you can contact me here.