Decathlete Bryan Clay pulls daughter's tooth with javelin throw

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

For Bryan Clay's family, it's all fun and games especially when a tooth gets knocked out.

The American decathlete used a little creative dentistry to extract a loose bottom tooth from the mouth of his 5-year-old daughter, Ellie. He tied a piece of floss to the tooth and a javelin, then sent the javelin flying.

Out popped the tooth. It's all captured in a video that's going viral, even if it's a little cringe-worthy.

Clay said in an email the idea was a joint collaboration between his daughter and wife.

"Ellie is our youngest and has watched her older brother and sister both do crazy stunts to remove their loose teeth," said Clay, the Olympic decathlete gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games. "So she was excited for it to finally be her turn."

In the video, Ellie said "bye" to the tooth. Clay then instructed her to keep her chin up and counted down before letting go of the javelin.

At first, the family didn't think it worked, before Ellie said, "It did!" and pointed to the gap where the tooth used to be. The family then searched on the ground for the tooth - hey, the tooth fairy needs visual confirmation for Ellie to receive her money - before Ellie said, "Can I have water?"

"She was excited to do this," Clay said. "She was dancing around after singing, 'I'm so lucky! I got my tooth pulled by a jav-a-lin!'"

Other athletes are now waiting in line for some dental work. Hurdler Lolo Jones posted on her Twitter account, "I never got my wisdom teeth out. I'm coming over."

The 35-year-old Clay captured a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games before winning gold four years later. He also won the crown at the 2005 world championships.

When he's not pulling teeth, Clay stays plenty busy. The Southern California resident gives speeches, recently started a group fitness franchise and got in on the ground floor of a tech company. He also coaches part-time at his alma mater, Azusa Pacific University.

Clay said it was a no-brainer to go with the javelin over other possible field event items, such as the discus or shot put, which are also part of the 10 events that make up the decathlon.

"The jav was for sure the easiest to tie it to," he said.

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