BARCELONA — The rift in the Dan & Dave Decathlon Show, which first showed up when Dan O'Brien no-heighted at the Olympic trials in New Orleans, widened into a gulf Friday when Johnson's wife, taking offense at remarks attributed to Dan O'Brien, criticized him for "unfortunate, even un-American" behavior.
"I usually don't say anything, but I want to publicly condemn what Dan O'Brien said on a TripleCast network show the other night," Sherry Johnson said at a post-event news conference with her husband.
"Dave has always been very supportive of Dan in everything he's done, and I think it's very unfortunate, even un-American, what Dan had to say," she said. "You should commend your teammate, not condemn him."
According to Johnson's mother, who was told of the O'Brien incident in a phone call to Oregon, O'Brien, in an interview with the network's Dwight Stones, noted that Dave Johnson "looked lethargic today."
O'Brien was also quoted by Johnson's mother as saying of the first day's decathlon events: "If I were competing, I'd be way ahead by now." O'Brien was also said to have observed: "Nobody fouls in the shotput (referring to Johnson). It's really ridiculous to do that."
To which Dwight Stones was said to have retorted: "But you no-heighted at New Orleans (in the pole vault, which cost O'Brien a place on the U.S. Olympic team)."
Before the Games began, Reebok spent $25 million for an advertising campaign featuring Johnson and O'Brien. Johnson earned the bronze medal despite suffering from a stress fracture in his right foot.