August 15, 2008
Charlottesville shot putter Adam Nelson fell short of his goal of winning a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Nelson threw in the finals with hurt ribs, and failed to record a mark.
After moving on in the preliminaries, Nelson fouled in his first three throws in the finals, failing to make the final eighth. He finished third in the U.S. Olympic Trials, and was hoping to win gold, after earning silver medals in both 2000 and 2004. Nelson held the top rank in the world entering the games.
Nelson was not the only American who struggled. Defending World Champion Reese Hoffa finished seventh, while Christian Cantwell was the only U.S. medalist, winning the silver. There had been talk of a hopeful American sweep in the shot put among track and field fans.
Poland's Tomasz Majewski won the gold with his throw of 70 feet, seven inches. The winning throw was three feet shorter than the personal bests of all three Americans.