Nelson on Cusp of Olympic Gold (Sports Illustrated)


It was a dramatic moment, Sports Illustrated reports, when the shot put competition began at the 2004 Olympic Games 115 miles from Athens, Greece. And the competition itself was just as dramatic: Adam Nelson ’97, a silver medalist in the games four years earlier, was trying for the gold, but captured silver instead.

Now, a drug test performed some 3,000 days after the 2004 Games may have given Nelson the gold medal, The New York Times reports. After the test, doping officials ruled that the athlete who won the gold in 2004, Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, used performance-enhancing drugs, the Times reports.

“I’m still processing this one,” Nelson tells the Times, “but the 2004 Olympics were a really special moment for me.”

Nelson is a former Big Green football player who still holds the Dartmouth shot put record and was the 1997 NCAA champion. He did not qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

The Times writes that Nelson “settled for silver in the 2000 Games in Sydney, then appeared to have the gold in his grasp four years later when the event was staged in Olympia, Greece, the site of the original ancient Olympics, and was one of those Games’ iconic events. Nelson was leading, but fouled on each of his five remaining turns. Bilonog tied Nelson on his final attempt, and Bilonog won the gold medal on a tiebreaker based on his second-best throw.”

Read the full story, published 12/6/12 in Sports Illustrated.

Read the full story, published 12/5/12 in The New York Times.

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