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Medal record

Adam Nelson at the 2007 World Championships
Men's athletics
Olympic Games
Silver 2000 Sydney Shot put
Silver 2004 Athens Shot put
World Championships
Gold 2005 Helsinki Shot put
Silver 2001 Edmonton Shot put
Silver 2003 Paris Shot put
Silver 2007 Osaka Shot put
IAAF World Athletics Final
Silver 2004 Monaco Shot put
Gold 2005 Monaco Shot put
Silver 2007 Stuttgart Shot put

Adam Nelson (born July 7, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an elite American shotputter. A 1997 graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, Nelson has competed in two Olympic Games. In 1996, Nelson worked at a concession stand during the 1996 Summer Olympics in his hometown of Atlanta.


High school years

Nelson attended The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia and was a letterman and a standout in both football and track & field. Adam Nelson graduated from The Lovett School in 1993.

College years and Olympic glory

While he was an undergraduate at Dartmouth, Nelson won various accolades as a member of the track and field team. He still holds the Dartmouth shot put record with a throw of 65 feet 3 inches (19.88 m). In addition, Nelson played on the football team, as a linebacker and later, as a defensive tackle, becoming the first freshman to play football at Dartmouth in 1993. Prior to 1993, the Ivy League prohibited first-year students from playing on the varsity football team. He was a member of Dartmouth's 1996 undefeated Ivy League champion team, and faithfully served as President of Chi Heorot fraternity in 1997.

In the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Nelson earned a silver medal after coming in first place in the 2000 Olympic Trials for shotput. Going into the Games, Nelson was the favorite to win, having won every major shotput event in the summer of 2000. His throw of 21.21 m (69 ft 7 in) was just three inches (8 cm) short of the winning throw by gold medalist Arsi Harju.

Nelson's personal best is 22.51 (73 ft 10 in), which he threw in 2002. At that time, this was the third longest throw in U.S. history and the ninth farthest ever in the world.

Nelson also earned a silver medal in the shot put finals at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.[1] The shot put was held in a spectacular setting at the original Stadium of Ancient Olympia, bringing Olympic competition back to the venue for the first time in over a millennium. Nelson jumped out in front of the field with his first throw of 21.16 m (69 feet, 5 inches), and held the lead going into the sixth and final round. As the leader, Nelson was scheduled to be the last thrower in the round and thus, the competition. The holder of the 2nd place throw, Yuriy Bilonog of the Ukraine was scheduled to throw second to last. If Nelson remained in first place after Bilonog's final throw, he would know that he had won his first gold medal and his last throw would become moot. It was not to be; Yury Bilonog stepped up and threw 21.16 m (69 feet, 5 inches) to tie Nelson for first place with his sixth throw. To break a tie, the competitors' second best throws are compared, and -- unfortunately -- Nelson had fouled every throw since his competition-leading first throw. Nelson entered the ring for his final throw and unleashed what looked to be a gold medal winning 70 foot throw but fouled by stepping on the line to the left front of the circle. Thus, by virtue of the tie-breaker and his superior second-best throw, Yuriy Bilonog won the gold medal and Nelson had to settle for his second consecutive Olympic silver medal. Nelson initially protested vociferously to the officials but later realized that he did in fact foul and apologized for his emotional reaction.

Nelson's silver medal was the first track and field medal for the United States in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Nelson finally achieved his dreams of a major world title when he won gold at the 2005 World Athletics Championships with a throw of 21.73 meters. He has qualified to compete in his third straight Olympics in Beijing, placing third at the 2008 US Trials. Nelson is also a prominent campaigner against doping in sport.

Nelson regularly reads and posts on The Ring [2], an online track and field forum, and as of November 2009 has endorsed Force Factor brand sports supplements. [3][4]

Career Progression


2008 22.12  Eugene, OR 08/06/2008 
2007 21.61  Osaka 25/08/2007 
2006 22.04  Indianapolis, IN 23/06/2006 
2005 21.92  Monaco 10/09/2005 
2004 21.68  Gresham, OR 05/06/2004 
2003 21.29  Kuortane 20/07/2003 
2002 22.51  Portland 18/05/2002 
2001 21.53  Rüdlingen 19/08/2001 
2000 22.12  Sacramento, CA 15/07/2000 
1999 20.64  Palma de Mallorca 10/07/1999 
1998 20.61  Rüdlingen 23/08/1998 
1997 19.92   01/01/1997 
1996 19.14   01/01/1996 
1995 18.27   01/01/1995 
1994 18.34  Lisboa 23/07/1994 


2009 20.79  New York (MSG), NY 30/01/2009 
2008 22.40  Fayetteville, AR 15/02/2008 
2006 20.99  Boston (Roxbury), MA 28/01/2006 
2005 21.66  Boston (Roxbury), MA 29/01/2005 
2004 19.81  New York (Msg), NY 06/02/2004 
2003 20.63  Boston (Roxbury), MA 02/03/2003 
2002 21.57  New York (Armory), NY 01/03/2002 
2001 21.40  Atlanta, GA 03/03/2001 
1999 20.32  Atlanta, GA 27/02/1999 
1998 19.86  Indianapolis, IN 13/03/1998

External links


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