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Reese Hoffa: The Well-Known Shot Put Champ


Reese Hoffa: The Well-Known Shot Put Champ

Reese Hoffa

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Many felt that Hoffa won the world’s second-toughest shot put competition when he triumphed at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. None of the Americans were at their best in the Olympics, however. Hoffa's 20.53-meter effort (67 feet, 4.27 inches) was only good for seventh place in Beijing. In 2009 Hoffa finished fourth at both the World Championships and the World Athletic Final.

Childhood travels:

Born in Kentucky, the four-year-old Hoffa, and his older brother, Lamont, were put up for adoption by their young, single mother. Hoffa was soon separated from Lamont and moved to Georgia with his adoptive family. Hoffa was reunited with his birth mother in 2000, after each began searching for the other.

School days:

Hoffa wrestled, played baseball and football, and stuck with track and field in high school, even though a coach told Hoffa he wouldn’t be any good. Hoffa later won two Georgia high school shot put championships for that same coach. Hoffa then earned four consecutive All-American honors at the University of Georgia.

Fun times:

Following a 2000 victory at the Drake Relays, Hoffa began a personal tradition by taking a victory lap while holding a turkey leg in one hand. He continued that tradition after winning the 2007 World Championship. A pro wrestling fan, Hoffa competed in the 2004 Home Depot Invitational wearing a black mask with a red X on it and dubbed himself, “The Unknown Shot Putter.” He set a then-personal best of 21.67 meters (71 feet, 1.15 inches) at that event. He’s voiced a desire to one day compete while wearing a bear suit.

Career highlights:

Hoffa, who trains in Athens, Ga. along with American rival [link url=http://trackandfield.about.com/od/shotput/p/profileanelson.htm] Adam Nelson[/link], won the World Indoor championship in 2006 and the World Outdoor title in 2007. Hoffa finished 2006 and 2007 ranked No. 1 in the world by Track & Field News. He finished second in the 2004 Olympic Trials but didn’t qualify for the final round at the Athens Games. Hoffa's personal best is 22.43 meters (73 feet, 7.07 inches) in August, 2007.

The stats:

  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 285
  • Birth date: October 8, 1977
  • Hometown: Evans, Georgia
  • World Championships: Two (2006, Indoor; 2007, Outdoor)


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