Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis airmails first pitch at Astros game (video)

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Carl Lewis‘ arm strength has improved drastically over the last 10 years. The nine-time Olympic champion went just a bit high on his ceremonial first pitch at a Houston Astros game Tuesday night.

After, Lewis, who went to the University of Houston, was asked what time he would run the 100 meters in today.

“The time wouldn’t be the issue,” Lewis, 52, said. “The issue would be how many body parts would cross the line with me.”

Houston was also the site of Lewis’ retirement in 1997, in quite unusual fashion. He ran an unopposed anchor leg of a 4×100-meter relay exhibition during halftime of a Houston-Pitt college football game.

“I wanted to run fast enough to look good and slow enough so it didn’t end so fast,” Lewis, then in dreadlocks, told Sports Illustrated in 1997.

Lewis remembered that during his interview Tuesday.

“The greatest thing about my career is that probably one of the three greatest moments of my career was the day I retired,” he said. “Because I did it on the track I trained on every day. All my teammates were there, I knew that I was never going to get better again. I’ve never wanted to run a second since. I hear people all the time say, ‘God I retired too early,’ and I did not. I retired at the exact right time.”

Lewis also said the 100 meters, where he won back-to-back Olympic titles in 1984 and 1988, was his No. 3 event behind the long jump and the 200.

Back to the first pitch. It’s at least the third time Lewis has thrown a first pitch (with video evidence).

In 2003, his throw didn’t make it halfway to home plate at Safeco Field.

Earlier this year, Lewis gave up entirely and sprinted the ball from the mound to home plate.

We’ve also seen Lewis perform less than stellar in another pregame ceremony:

(h/t @chrisnickinson)

World Track and Field Championships broadcast schedule

Adam Nelson’s comeback to continue at Olympic Trials

Adam Nelson
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Adam Nelson, the 2004 Olympic shot put champion, plans to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials six days shy of his 41st birthday.

Nelson, who has worked for NBC Sports, confirmed an ESPN.com report Tuesday that he has entered the trials.

In 2012, Nelson failed to qualify for the Olympic Trials final and retired.

“I just hope that when people think about me and my career, they see, one, that you can do this for a long time, there is a right way to do it,” an emotional Nelson told reporters then. “That when you do it the right way and you do it every single day, the hard work pays off time and time again. You’re going to have bad days, you’re going to have good days. But on balance you’re going to have more good days than bad days. I hope people that see that. The bottom line is, at the end of the day, if you don’t love it, don’t do it.”

Nelson’s comeback was first reported last summer.

He competed for the first time since missing the London Olympic team on April 30, throwing 20.48 meters, according to Tilastopaja.org. That ranks him outside the top 25 in the world this year and ninth among Americans.

It is just shy of the USA Track and Field automatic qualifying standard of 20.50 for the Olympic Trials, but athletes below the standard can be invited based on performance rank to compete at trials.

In May 2013, Nelson was elevated from 2004 Olympic silver to gold by the International Olympic Committee after Ukraine’s Yuriy Bilonog was stripped of it for doping. The Athens Olympic shot put competition was memorable given it was held at the Ancient Olympic site of Olympia.

In June 2013, Nelson was given a victory ceremony at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. A wreath was placed on his head, as every medalist at the 2004 Olympics received. He listened to the national anthem play. He took a victory lap with an American flag around the track.

The next month, Nelson received his gold medal at an Atlanta airport food court, reportedly at a table in front of a Chinese restaurant.

MORE: Joe Kovacs’ emergence from family tragedy, Olympic miss to world leader

Race walker holds his own medal ceremony after Russia doping (video)

Jared Tallent
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Australian race walker Jared Tallent wasted no time after Tuesday’s report listing eight Russian Olympic track and field medalists suspected of doping during the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Tallent starred in a do-it-yourself medal ceremony, receiving the Daegu 2011 World Championships gold medal for the 50km race walk. There was no announcer, there was no national anthem and the medal wasn’t the official Daegu version, but the motivation was clear.

Tallent originally finished third in the 2011 Worlds 50km race walk. One of the Russians named Tuesday — Denis Nizhegorodov — finished second. Another Russian, Sergey Bakulin, finished first, but his result was previously disqualified for doping.

That would leave Tallent the champion, which could be made official later this year pending Nizhegorodov’s B sample from 2008 and more processes.

Tallent is already in line to be upgraded from silver to gold in the 2012 Olympic 50km race walk due to Russian doping. There will be a more formal ceremony for Tallent to receive his Olympic gold, on June 17 in Melbourne.

MORE: Russia track and field federation says no past dopers on Rio Olympic team