Nelson at the 2011 World Championships
|Competitor for United States|
|Silver||2000 Sydney||Shot put|
|Gold||2004 Athens||Shot put|
|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 shot putter. As of December 5, 2012, it has been reported that he may be declared the 2004 Olympic champion in the event, following the disqualification of Yuriy Bilonog for doping.
A 1997 graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, Nelson competed in three consecutive Olympic Games in 2000, 2004 and 2008. In 1996, Nelson worked at a concession stand during the 1996 Summer Olympics in his hometown of Atlanta.
High school 
Spin Technique 
Nelson throws with his right arm and he utilizes the "spin" technique to generate speed and power within the 7-foot diameter (2.135 meter) throwing ring. While the "spin" is considered a more powerful style (because of its speed), competitors have a greater tendency to foul compared to those who use the more traditional "glide" technique. Although their throws usually remain within the legal sector, spinners are more prone to lose their balance control and to step on the front toe board (or, to have a foot come down to the side, on/over the ring's 7-foot circle line.)
College Career and Olympic Medals 
As an undergraduate at Dartmouth, Nelson won various accolades as a member of the track and field team, including the shot put title at the 1997 NCAA championships, when he won with a throw of 19.62m (64 ft. 4 1/2 in.). 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 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 shot put. Going into the Games, Nelson was the favorite to win, having won every major shot put 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. 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 final round, despite fouling throws 2, 3, 4 and 5. As the event leader, Nelson was the last thrower in the sixth and final round. 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; Yuriy Bilonog stepped up and improved with a throw of 21.16 m (69 feet, 5 inches) to tie Nelson for first place. Nelson entered the ring for his final throw with the knowledge that he would now need an exceptional throw to beat Bilonog- he unleashed what looked to be a gold medal-winning 70 foot throw, but he then fouled by stepping on the line to the left-front of the circle. With Nelson and Bilonog tied on distance, the tie-breaker rule came into effect, which utilizes the competitors' second-best throws. Because Nelson had fouled every single throw after the opening round, he had no second mark. Thus, by virtue of the tie-breaker and his superior second-best throw, Yuriy Bilonog was awarded 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 step on the ring line on his sixth throw and he 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 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, placing third at the 2008 US Trials. Nelson is also a prominent campaigner against doping in sport.
Retesting in 2012 Elevates Nelson to Gold for 2004 Olympics 
In 2012, retroactive testing on competitors' urine samples retained from the 2004 Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee revealed that 2004 Olympic gold medalist Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine was guilty of performance enhancing drug use. In 2012 the IOC re-tested approximately 100 urine samples from specific events in the 2004 Games and found that four medal winners in Track & Field (both men and women, all in the throwing events) tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. On 5 December 2012 the IOC announced that Men's Shot Put winner Bilonog, and Women's Shot Put third place finisher Svetlana Krivelyova of Russia, re-tests showed positive for the steroid agent oxandrolone. The positive tests resulted in Bilonog being stripped of his gold medal, and Krivelyova losing her bronze medal.  The IOC, following its established rules, gave Bilonog (and the others) 21 days to appeal its ruling. If a protest is not filed by 26 December, then it is expected the IOC will declare Nelson the 2004 Olympic champion, probably sometime in early 2013.
During the early 2005 season, Nelson solicited sponsors by wearing T-shirts reading "Space for Rent." This culminated in May when he found a sponsor who paid him $12,000, just slightly more than the donation Nelson had made the World Anti-Doping Agency following his second Olympic silver medal. Nelson went on to win the IAAF World Championships later that season (though he wore the USA uniform in that competition.
|Representing the United States|
|1994||World Junior Championships||Lisbon, Portugal||1st||18.34 m|
|2000||Olympic Games||Sydney, Australia||2nd||21.21 m|
|2001||World Championships||Edmonton, Canada||2nd||21.24 m|
|2004||Olympic Games||Athens, Greece||1st||21.16 m|
|2005||World Championships||Helsinki, Finland||1st||21.73 m|
Career progression 
- 2010 21.29 Zürich 18 August 2010
- 2009 21.11 Berlin 15 August 2009
- 2008 22.12 Eugene, OR 8 June 2008
- 2007 21.61 Osaka 25 August 2007
- 2006 22.04 Indianapolis, IN 23 June 2006
- 2005 21.92 Monaco 10 September 2005
- 2004 21.68 Gresham, OR 5 June 2004
- 2003 21.29 Kuortane 20 July 2003
*2002 22.51 Portland 18 May 2002
- 2001 21.53 Rüdlingen 19 August 2001
- 2000 22.12 Sacramento, CA 15 July 2000
- 1999 20.64 Palma de Mallorca 10 July 1999
- 1998 20.61 Rüdlingen 23 August 1998
- 1997 19.92
- 1996 19.14
- 1995 18.27
- 1994 18.34 Lisbon 23 July 1994
- 2010 20.91 Bydgoszcz 10 February 2010
- 2009 20.79 New York (MSG), NY 30 January 2009
*2008 22.40 Fayetteville, AR 15 February 2008
- 2006 20.99 Boston (Roxbury), MA 28 January 2006
- 2005 21.66 Boston (Roxbury), MA 29 January 2005
- 2004 19.81 New York (Msg), NY 6 February 2004
- 2003 20.63 Boston (Roxbury), MA 2 March 2003
- 2002 21.57 New York (Armory), NY 1 March2002
- 2001 21.40 Atlanta, GA 3 March 2001
- 1999 20.32 Atlanta, GA 27 February 1999
- 1998 19.86 Indianapolis, IN 13 March 1998
- Gordon, Ed (2012-06-24). World record for Eaton, dramatic wins for Jeter and Harper in Eugene – US Olympic Trials, Day 2. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-24.
- Official website
- IAAF profile for Adam Nelson
- Article about the 2000 Olympics on Dartmouth College Website
- Article in The Dartmouth on Adam Nelson's Medal
- Adam Nelson's U.S. Olympic Team bio