Invitational Men's Shot Put Press Conference

April 19, 2011


Press Conference Videos 2011 Shot Put Field | Dorian Scott | Reese Hoffa

2011 Kansas Relays

Invitational Men’s Shot Put Press Conference

April 19, 2011 — Lawrence, Kan.

Dan Taylor

On competing in a downtown venue:

“I think we’ve all competed in this type of format before. It’s one of the first times that we’ve all done it in the U.S., but we do it in Europe over the summer quite a bit. I enjoy it because it puts a lot more focus on us, which we don’t usually get. When you’re out in the middle of a field nobody can get near us. It’s different. There’s a lot more excitement and a lot more energy and it makes for a better performance I think. There was definitely a draw, because to come here, and be able to experience that format here is different.”

On how the venue affects the level of competiton:

“We have to be ready for our competitors to be throwing at their highest levels because everyone is going to be jacked up.”

On competing in street events in Europe:

“Last year alone, I did probably four or five street events and they were awesome. We did one in Zurich, Switzerland, that was in the main train station. The train station in Zurich gets something like 400,000 people a day, so we had this huge stands set up right in the middle of the train station where they had all of these crowds and bars that were open, and just a ton of people watching. It’s becoming more and more of the case, because everybody is throwing far, or at least as far as the next guy, and everybody is competing at a high level, so they want that exposure.”

On the shot put being a top event at this year’s Kansas Relays:

“Most of the time you see the sprinters featured. People are always talking about the 100-meters, or whatever. I think it’s cool when any event gets featured because I just love track and field, but for us to be featured. Like Adam (Nelson) said, to be up close and personal and appreciate that that’s a 16-pound ball that we’re throwing and to get some of the distances that we’ve gotten. Especially, with the crew that we have here, these have been some of the best five guys that the shot put has seen. It’s just going to be exciting.”

On how the different the field looks without Christian Cantwell:

“I don’t think it’s changed that much. Christian obviously had a great year last year winning the world championships, and the year before and he’s a huge part of the identity of the American shot putters right now, but we’ve got a world-class competition here. There is not someone outside of this table that I don’t think is top-10 in the world. I would challenge any other event in any sport to show me an opportunity to watch guys just in the top-10 in the world compete. Christian is just one athlete right now. He’s the defending world champion so there’s a lot of emphasis on him this year, but I think we’ve got a good group of guys here that are going to represent our event quite well.”

Cory Martin

On competing in a downtown venue:

“My first time doing that was last year in Stockholm, and I had some success with it. And like Dan (Taylor) said, the atmosphere is so much better. You get the music involved and we get to pick our music that we want to get in the ring to and it kind of gets us jacked up, which is obviously better for the performances. It should be good competition and the audience should really enjoy it.”

On being part of the first-ever downtown street event in the United States:

“As far as I know, in the U.S., this is the first one. When I got told about this, I was all excited to come. Like we said before, there’s been some in Europe where you’re throwing at a train station and throwing in a street. Every (location) has a different personality, and so it will be interesting to get out and see how Kansas Relays puts it on. It’s the first one so there’s kind of pressure on us to make sure it goes well.”

On the shot put being a top event at this year’s Kansas Relays:

“That’s a big motivation. We all know we need to put on a show because we want to keep doing this. We don’t to do it once and then they never do it again.”

Reese Hoffa

On competing in a downtown venue:

“I have to echo what (Dan Taylor and Cory Martin) just said. I think it’s going to be a fun event. I think the music will definitely be a good motivator for us for big distances and I just hope we have a lot of fun with it and hope the audience enjoys it too.”

On searching for his birth mother several years after being adopted:

“It was in my junior year of college, about 1999. I was just in study hall, had some free time with my friends at the end of the day and looked on an adoption website, just really fooling around on it. When I lived at home in Augusta, (Ga.), I didn’t really have internet, so when you come to college you get to experience some cool stuff. It was amazing, I just put my date of birth in, the state that I was adopted from, Kentucky, and a couple of (matches) came up. But this one was perfect: It said my birth name in there, it talked about my brother, Lamont, my house burning down and her sort of trying to find me. I waited a bit, tried to get my thoughts together after I had found her and I guess the rest of it was kind of history. I emailed her; she got back to me within like a week.”

“The only thing I had to go off of was my birth names, which was Maurice and Chism. So going to Kentucky to see my (adopted mom’s family), I would look in phone books and look up `Chism’, go on the internet and look up `Chism’, just to see if I could find somebody. I sent a few letters out but I really wasn’t getting any response back. I thought it was probably not ever going to happen, and then literally, during my 30-minute search I was able to track her down and have her come back to me. It’s unbelievable.”

On his memories of living in a Louisville orphanage:

“When I was in the orphanage, I was four, so I remember her taking me to the orphanage, the whole process of her having to leave and people having to hold me back as she got into her car. I know that probably was very tough for her.”

On his “Turkey Trot” tradition:

“Usually, someone brings (a turkey leg) out for me. But it started in college at the Drake Relays when one of my teammates told me, `There’s turkey legs here, they’re pretty awesome, if you win, you’ve got to go get a turkey leg and run around.’ The hard part was actually winning — I only won by a couple of inches — but doing the victory lap was awesome. The second time I did it, in Indianapolis, my old roommate from college was there and knew the story too, he just so happened to have a turkey leg with him and I did a victory lap with it.”

Adam Nelson

On competing in a downtown venue:

“In my opinion, there’s really only one way to experience our event and that is up close and personal. If you have ever seen power sports, strength sports — you can’t appreciate them from a long distance away. This gives a chance for the fans, and for anybody that comes to the meet, to experience what kind of power these guys have. It’s been said, about shot putters, that we’re the most powerful athletes in the world and I think if you come and watch that close up, and first hand that you’ll see what that really means.”

On getting along with the other throwers:

“I think we all get along really well. As one of the elder athletes here, I can say that it hasn’t always been that way. There was times when a lot of the guys that you competed against were just world class jerks. I can say honestly about this group, and even about the other guys that aren’t here as well, that this is the first time in about 15 years where everybody gets along very well and you want to see the other person do well. But at the same time, you obviously want to do well. So, we all manage the competitive animosity that can sometimes bubble up pretty well. We usually like to see each other do well because we know it’s good for the sport and good for our performances.”

On the crowd at European street track and field events:

“They’re awesome, it’s really high energy. It’s almost like a rock concert. It takes the action to the fans. If you look at other sports that have done similar things to this like the X Games, skateboarding, biking and all of those things, they basically took it to where the people are and then built stands around it so you can really experience the event. There’s nothing quite like seeing guys like this. We’re white guys, like 262 pounds, maybe up to 350 pounds, and when you see guys our size moving the way we do, and throwing a 16-pound steel ball the length of a bowling alley it’s pretty awesome. And the only way to truly appreciate that is right up close.

On the popularity of street events in Europe:

“They pop up every now and then but usually, most of them take place in Germany and Scandinavia. They started using the shot put as a promotion for the rest of the events. It’s a really great event, either to host by itself or to promote another meet because you can take it to the people. One of the biggest obstacles that track and field has is that there’s a lot of different events going on within this huge venue and you can’t really appreciate what’s going on unless you’re a fan of the whole sport. This offers people to see one component of the sport, and then hopefully draw them into the event later in the meet. I love the format and I’m really excited to see it taking place in the U.S., as well.”

Dorian Scott

On competing in a downtown venue:

“I like the attention. Where we usually compete, people don’t even know that the shot put is going on so I’m cool with it, I love it.”

On getting along with the other throwers:

“We’re almost like a little fraternity. Throwing shot put is one of those things that’s different. We’re not like the sprinters, so we’re not all going to be millionaires or anything like that, it’s not like we’re fighting over big, big dollars. The older guys will hook up with the young guys and everybody is just trying to help everybody out. We get along clean. We’ll go out and get some drinks, have lunch together and train together when we’re in different cities. There’s no beef amongst anybody.