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Nate Grooms, Digital Account Coordinator and Olympic Hopeful

The Summer Olympic Games are quickly approaching.  Men and women from around the globe train and dream of representing their countries in the world's most prestigious athletic competition.  One Moore & Scarry team member hopes to be selected among the elite athletes that have the opportunity to bring glory and honor the U.S.A.  Nate Grooms is a mild mannered digital account coordinator by day, and a world class hammer thrower by night.  That's right, Nate's a hammer thrower! 

In track and field "throwing" events, most of us are familiar with the shot put and the discus, but many people have not heard of the hammer throw.  It is an ancient sport that originated in Greece, migrated to Northern Europe, made its way to the Scottish Highland Games and became an official Olympic sport in 1900.  An actual sledge hammer was thrown in early competitions, hence the name "hammer throw."  Though the sport dropped the sledge hammers long ago, the name remains.  Today's hammers consist of a weighted ball on a swivel, attached to a heavy steel wire.     

According to Wikipedia, "…the competition is decided by who can throw the ball the farthest. The men's hammer weighs 16 pounds and measures 3 feet 11 3⁄4 inches in length… Competitors gain maximum distance by swinging the hammer above their head to set up the circular motion. Then they apply force and pick up speed by completing one to four turns in the circle… The ball moves in a circular path, gradually increasing in velocity with each turn… The thrower releases the ball from the front of the circle. The two most important factors for a long throw are the angle of release… and the speed of the ball…."             

If spinning a 16 pound weight on a four foot cable above your head and releasing it in a very precise location sounds difficult, that's because it is.  As you might also imagine, it can be dangerous.  In fact, only four U.S. states actively participate in the sport at the high school level: New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.     

A native of Colorado, Nate began throwing shot put and discus with great success in high school, but he didn't discover the hammer until college.  He quickly gained a preference for the hammer and focused much of his training on the sport during his last two years of college.  "The hammer really started to click for me when I was a senior in college.  At that time, I knew I had advanced as far as I probably could in shot put and discus, but the hammer still held vast potential for me.  My ability really took off and I decided to keep training in the sport after college."   

According Nate, he loves the sport because of its pure and total athleticism, the most technical and complex of all track and field events.  It requires tremendous strength, speed, agility and precision.  "Discus was my first love and I won the 2007 1AA Independent National Championship in it.  But as I progressed, it was clear that I would be in a long-term, mature relationship with hammer throwing."     

Now, over four years out of college, with four more years of hammer throw training under his belt, Nate has set his sights on the Olympics.  During peak training, he lifts heavy weights five to six days a week and throws four days a week.  He trains with his coach, Steve DeAutremont, who threw for the U.S. National Team and was a National Hammer Throw winner.      

Nate will compete for a spot on the Olympic team during the U.S.A. Track & Field Championships at the University of Oregon in June.  Hammer throwing is dominated by Northern European countries and the U.S. hasn't had an Olympic medal winner in the sport since 1996.  Nate hopes to change that and we wish him the best in his quest to represent his country with his unique abilities and determination.  "To be able to honor my country at the Olympic level would mean everything to me.  I've been an athlete my whole life and I am grateful every day that I am still able to compete," commented Nate.        

Nate holds a Bachelors degree in Journalism, with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations.  When he's not working or training, Nate coaches a high school throwing team and is active in a vocal ensemble, Reunited.  Reunited was recently asked to sing the National Anthem at the University of Colorado Denver's graduation ceremony.  Who knew your digital advertising professionals were so interesting!

Amanda Tossberg