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Adam Nelson: Three-Time Olympian


Adam Nelson: Three-Time Olympian

Adam Nelson

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The Beijing Games marked Nelson's third trip to the Olympics. He gained silver medals in 2000 and 2004, but three fouls in the final ended his medal hopes in 2008. He remained competitive in 2009, taking fifth place at the World Championships.

Silver and gold:

In addition to his Olympic silver medals, Nelson also won silvers at three World Outdoor Championships (2001-02, 2007) and one World Indoor Championship (2001). But he’s earned some impressive victories, as well, including the 2005 World Outdoor Championship gold medal. He also won the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials before finishing third in 2008. Nelson owns four U.S. Outdoor championships and two U.S. Indoor titles. He ended the 2007 season as the world’s second-ranked shot putter.


Nelson graduated from Dartmouth – where he also played football – with a degree in government. He’s since taken acting classes in New York and began an MBA program at the University of Virginia in 2006.

Psyching up:

Before each throw, Nelson walks several yards in front of the throwing circle then yells to the crowd as he throws off his warm-up shirt while striding back to the circle and preparing to throw. He’s said the routine helps him focus mentally.

The stats:

  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 255
  • Birth date: July 7, 1975
  • Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
  • World Championships: One (2005, Outdoor)
  • Personal best: 22.51 meters (73 feet, 10 inches)


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