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.
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