Adam Nelson received his Olympic gold medal in a special ceremony. Then, he had to compete.
The shot putter wouldn't change a thing. It was a day full of emotions for the 40-year-old, who came out of retirement for one last crack at making the Olympics.
He finished seventh and won't be going to Rio de Janeiro. To him, that hardly mattered after the send-off he received.
Nelson captured a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics before being bumped to gold in May 2013 when Ukraine's Yuriy Bilonoh was stripped of the title following a doping violation. A month later, Nelson received his victory celebration on a stage in Des Moines, Iowa — a long ways from Greece.
But this was his official medal presentation day. Well, he first received it years ago at a food court at the Atlanta airport, but this was more formal, complete with the playing of the national anthem.
"This gold medal doesn't have a lot of value to me personally, because there were no emotions attached to it. ... It's been kind of a shallow, hollow feeling to have this gold medal," Nelson explained. "But this type of event for me today, it started to added an emotional connection I haven't had to it."
Nelson qualified for the final, but his top throw was well back of winner Ryan Crouser.
"A fairy-tale ending would be cool. But this is just spectacular," Nelson said.
— Mark Cullen (@trackerati) July 1, 2016