A for Athlete


Nathan Adrian Rio 2016b


“It’s not who’s put up the fastest time in the world that year, or who’s put up the fastest time in the previous four years, but who can get their hand on the wall first today.” – Nathan Adrian, 100m Freestyle Gold Medalist at the 2012 Olympics

The favorites always get the lion’s share of attention – and television coverage - at the Olympics. And they typically say the most predictable things when asked about their performances. For me, the most interesting – and probably the most genuine – comments come from the athletes who weren’t expected to win.

Nathan Adrian won three world championships since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. And in Beijing he was part of the 4x100m relay team that won the gold medal (although he didn’t swim in the final race). But coming into the 100m freestyle final in London in 2012, he was up against a stacked field and the favorite for gold was Australia (also known as AUS) Flag of Australia’s James Magnussen in the lane next to him. In the rows nearby were Cesar Cielo – the current world record holder from Brazil, and Yannick Agnell – the swimmer who chased down Ryan Lochte in the final leg of the 4x100m relay to win gold for France (also known as FRA) Flag of France. By his own admission he was hoping to make it on the podium. Any step of the podium.

47.52 seconds later, Adrian punched the wall to stop the clock. Just 1/100th of a second later, Magnussen touched to win the silver medal. The quote above came from his poolside interview immediately after the race, and it’s a sentiment all competitors should take to heart.

Nathan Adrian[]

  • in 2008 = 19 DOB: Dec 7, 1988
  • 6' 5" (195.6 cm)
  • Hometown = Bremerton, Wash.
  • in 2008 resides in Islamorada, Fla.
  • Coach in 2008 = Mike Bottom

Career Highlights:[]

Won gold and set a meet record in the 100m free at the 2008 Short Course World Championships ... member of the 400m free relay team that broke the world-record at


Short Course Worlds[]

2008: 1, 100m FR; 1, 400m FR-R (WR); 2, 400m MR-R

United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States Nationals[]

2007: 10, 50m FR

NCAA NCAA logo Championships[]

2007(Fr): 6, 200y FR-R; 7, 800y FR-R; 8, 100y FR; 10, 400y MR-R; 11, 50y FR; 13, 100y FL

2007 World Rankings:[]

47th, 50m free; 69th, 100m free


  • Holds World Record in 400m FR-R (SCM), set at 2008 Worlds short course
  • Holds American Record in 400m FR-R (SCM), set at 2008 Worlds short course
  • Holds American Record in 400m MED-R (SCM), set at 2008 Worlds short course
  • Holds National Age Group Record (17-18) in 50m FR, set at 2007 OR Speedo Sectionals


  • High School: Bremerton HS '06
  • College: UC-Berkeley '10
  • College Major: pre-med

Ambitions, Aspirations, Goals, Dreams[]

Wants to be a Doctor.

Family, Village, Community[]

Parents are Jim and Cecilia ... Jim is a nuclear engineer and Cecilia is a school nurse Sibling(s): Has an older sister (Donella) and an older brother (Justin) who both swam competitively

Started Swimming: At age 5 when brother, sister and friend started swimming Sports Played Before Swimming: Soccer

Nickname(s): Bok Choi ... "The little girls on my team found out I was 50 percent Asian." Hobbies Outside the Pool: Riding dirt bikes

Hobbies Outside the Pool: Hanging out with friends, jet skiing, boating, dirt biking

Most Influential Person: Parents ... "Because of their perfect balance of love and support for me over the years."

Training Notes[]


Swims 15,000-20,000 meters/yards per day, 5.5 hours a day, 6 days a week


  • Three SC World Medals (2g, 1s)

International Medals[]

2008 Worlds short course[]
  • 2008: Silver, 400m MED-R (SCM) (AR); Gold, 400m FR-R (SCM) (WR); Gold, 100m FR (SCM)

Top Times[]

  • Event: 50m FR 100m FR
  • Best: 22.01 49.00
  • Year Jun 08 Jun 08


  • Swimvitational - 1 Final, 50m FR; 2 Final, 100m FR
  • SC WORLDS - 1 Final, 100m FR (SCM); 1 Final, 400m FR-R
  • (SCM) (WR); 1 Final, 400m FR-R (SCM) (AR); 2 Final, 400m
  • MED-R (SCM) (AR)


  • SCY NATS - t6 Final, 50y FR; t3 Final, 100y FR; t6 Final, 200y FR
  • SUM NATS - 10 Final, 50m FR; 20 Final, 100m FR
  • 07 ULTRA GP - 8 Final, 50m FR; 8 Final, 200m FR


  • SUM NATS - 19 Final, 100m FR
  • SPG CHAMPS - t10 Final, 50m FR; 3 Final, 100m FR; 5 Final, 100m FL


  • US OPEN - 7 Prelim, 50m FR; 7 Final, 50m FR; 6 Prelim, 100m FR; 7 Final, 100m FR; 20 Prelim, 100m FL; 18 Final, 100m FL
  • SUM NATS - 19 Final, 100m FR
  • WC TRIALS - 23 Prelim, 50m FR; 17 Final, 50m FR; 24 Prelim, 100m FR; 18 Final, 100m FR; 25 Prelim, 100m FL; 17 Final, 100m FL


  • SUM NATS - 20 Final, 100m FR