Keeping His Focus

Adam Nelson — now reveling in his “old man” status on the track circuit as he pursues a fourth trip to the Olympic Games — revealed in an interview following his U.S. National shot put win last weekend that he almost didn’t get to this place.

Seven years ago, he nearly quit the sport in disgust. “I started getting really discouraged by the discrepancy in the pay scales for someone in the throwing world as opposed to the sprint and distance runners,” Nelson said.

But instead of quitting, the Dartmouth graduate found how to meet that challenge. By 2005, already a two-time Olympic medalist, Nelson began to offer his services to sponsors via eBay. Soon America’s shot put elite — including Christian Cantwell, John Godina and Reese Hoffa — were engaged in superhero antics previously reserved for professional wrestling. They suddenly began to earn top billing at events by being their own hype men.

Now the old man of the shot put remains a threat for world and Olympic gold.

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