8 Things You Didn’t Know About Olympian Nathan Adrian

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_Adrian_Nathan, 24, Adrian, California Aquat, Nathan Adrian-DO8T3845-Nathan Adrian may be a household name now, but in the run-up to the Olympics all of the hype surrounding USA men’s swimming was centered on the possible dethroning of Phelps and the emergence of Ryan Lochte as his successor.

Adrian would put his stamp on the London Games by out-touching heavily favored James Magnussen (AUS) in the 100m freestyle by 0.01, becoming the first American to win the race since some guy named Matt Biondi won it in Seoul in ‘88. Adrian would add a silver in the 4 x 100m free relay, and another gold in the 4 x 100m medley relay.

In the year and a half since London he has become a mainstream name, with Kitsap County declaring August 22nd Nathan Adrian Day, appearing on major national day-time and night-time shows from the Today Show to Leno, all the while continuing to compete with appearances at Worlds and the recent AT&T Winter Nationals.

Here are 8 other random little factoids that you may or may not have known about the humble Nathan Adrian–

1. 49ers? Forty-no-thanks.

While he lives in the Bay Area and trains under Dave Durden and Nort Thornton with a post-grad group at Cal that also includes Anthony Ervin and Natalie Coughlin, his heart and NFL team-of-choice are in the Pacific Northwest with the Seattle Seahawks. On December 23 he had the honor to raise the 12th man flag at a Seahawks home game.

2. His middle name is Ghar-jun

He represents the multi-cultural honey-pot we live in, his mom Cecilia being Chinese (she is originally from Hong Kong). This is reflected in the Art of the Cap campaign as well, with the ’08 on his cap a nod to his Beijing Olympics experience as well as his background.

3. Fastest 100m freestyle relay split ever. (Sort of.)

His 100m free split at the most recent FINA World Champs in the medley relay was the fastest split in the non-supersuit era in 46.69. The swim ultimately turned out to be for naught, as the US team were disqualified as the result of an early take-over between Matt Grevers and Kevin Cordes.

4. His perfect day would be at Lake Tahoe.

In an interview done with Outside Magazine, Adrian explained that his perfect day would be surrounded by his family and friends, playing on the water during the day, and then skiing at night in Lake Tahoe. Sounds about right.

5. He appeared on MythBusters.

Adrian appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters on an episode where hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman looked into a 2003 study done by the University of Minnesota that showed swimming in syrup wouldn’t be much different than swimming in water. Adrian, fresh off his gold medal appearance in Beijing as part of the 4×100 freestyle relay (he swam in the preliminaries), was invited on to the show to provide benchmarks for the hosts. The tests ultimately showed that the swimmer’s speed is more influenced by stroke speed than the type and quality of water they are swimming through.

6. He has a street named after him in his hometown of Bremerton, Washington.

Sumac Street in Bremerton was renamed as “Nathan Adrian Drive” in the weeks after the London Olympics. The street is close to the Jarstad Aquatic Center, the pool where he swam in his teen years.

7. If he could meet one person, it would be… Richard Branson.

As reported in the Outside interview, Adrian states that if he could meet one person that it would be Richard Branson, as Adrian likes his “thirst for adventure and his candid nature.”

8. The Berkeley Dreamboat Crashed SwimSwam.com by Ripping His Suit.

When a three week old SwimSwam.com posted a sequence of pictures of Adrian’s suit ripping (link NSFW) during the start of the 100m freestyle final at the Indianapolis Grand Prix in March of 2012, the response was, well, swift. The pictures went berserk on social media, sending a crushing 220,000+ hits on the SwimSwam site in about 90 minutes, melting the SwimSwam server. The site recovered, and Adrian cemented himself as a swimming heartthrob.

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5 years ago

Random fact: Peter van den Hoogenband split a 46.79 in the final of the 4×100 freestyle relay final in Athens. Over a second faster than anyone else in the field. I don’t know much about the suits used back then though.

Reply to  Markster
5 years ago

Jason Lezak split a 46.06 anchoring the 4×100 free relay in Beijing, but he was wearing a super suit

Reply to  Markster
5 years ago

I’ve always thought that PVDH going 46.7 in the pre-super suit era is insane (and he did it twice I think?), especially given that even now most 100 freestylers can’t go underneath 47 with a flying start. It’s a shame that Adrian’s 46.69 counted for nothing, but such is life.

5 years ago

I kind of remember that he went 46.6 2 times allready . In 2013 medley relay but also on the medley relay in London .
Lezak of course splitted the fastest split ever .

5 years ago

I checked Adrian’s time from London medley relay anchor : 46.85 !!!

5 years ago

It must do a lot for your confidence in the flat start race when you know you’ve had such amazing relay splits! 😉

About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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