The Union Recorder

Local Sports

December 7, 2012

Nelson may claim gold 8 years after Athens Games



Nelson just recently retired from competition and is living in Athens, Ga., where he's opening a sports performance center and volunteering his time to help raise awareness for rare diseases.

"Hearing those amazing stories and personal triumphs — and the losses — that really puts things in perspective," Nelson said. "It's been an inspiration."

He found out about the decision to strip Bilonog on his way out of town Wednesday. Ever since, his phone has been buzzing with well-wishers.

"It's a little bit strange to be congratulated on something you did eight years ago that's finally being recognized today," Nelson said.

Nelson still has sour feelings about the way competition played out in Athens. Nelson and Bilonog finished with the same best throw, but the Ukrainian was declared the winner because his second-best attempt was longer. It was the first time an Olympic field event was decided by a second-best mark.

"I didn't know there was a tiebreaking rule," Nelson said. "I found out on my last throw that I had to throw it farther to win, because he tied me on his last throw. And I had a big foul that I thought wasn't a foul.

"That was the hardest part. You have that immediate elation, 'Gosh, I crushed that throw' to the red flag going up and the realization that you've fouled a fifth throw and you lost gold. That was a pretty difficult thing to swallow at that time."

As for lingering animosity toward Bilonog, well, Nelson said he made the choice and has to live with the consequences.

"There were a lot of people affected by this person's actions," the 37-year-old said. "He should've had the personal integrity to say, 'I'm going to do this clean.'

Text Only
Local Sports
  • State amputee golf tournament this week

    The Milledgeville Country Club will host the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament beginning Friday with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. for the four-person scramble prior to the individual stroke play portion the following two days.

    July 10, 2014

  • Kalie Todd.jpg Elite Gymnastics posts strong showing at nationals

    Competing on the national stage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. June 11-15, Elite Gymnastics posted some of its best results in program history at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Gymnastics National Championship.

    July 9, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-26 Jayla Waller.jpg Former Bravette to play for Georgia College

    One of the most decorated players in Baldwin High School girls’ basketball history, Jayla Waller advanced to the collegiate level competing for Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. this past season as a freshman.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-21 Ramsey.JPG Amateur golf talent turns pro

    Professional golf is unforgiving and expensive.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-14 GMC summer basketball.jpg Bulldog basketball busy this summer

    Georgia Military Prep School boys’ basketball coach James Lunsford is notorious for working his players year-round to become better athletes and better students.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2312.JPG Ross a future star

    The numbers speak loudly for David Ross Jr.

    June 11, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-06 Blackbelt.jpg Mother-daughter combo make history at local karate studio

    History was made on Thursday, May 22 at Drouillard’s Karate Studio, as the school’s first mother-daughter combination in Mary Beth and Lindsey Atkinson tested and achieved the pinnacle black belt status on the same night.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_1061.JPG Youth explore tennis during GC camp

    Georgia College's tennis courts appeared to be a busy place on Wednesday afternoon.

    June 5, 2014 3 Photos

  • coach k camp.JPG Coach K's Soccer Camp kicks off with sweat

    Kids attending Coach K's Soccer Camp get their cleats dirty day one.

    June 3, 2014 3 Photos

  • 05-31 Cody Miller 3.JPG Miller’s versatility boosted Trojans this season

    Representing the John Milledge Academy baseball team well this spring, junior Cody Miller proved versatility is a key ingredient at the high school level as he led his team offensively and in pitching, earning him 2014 All-County Player of the Year honors.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo