Nathan Adrian Video Interview, U.S. Olympic Swimmer
U.S. swimmer Nathan Adrian, 23, left the London Olympics with the individual gold medal he so desperately wanted, and in doing so became the first American since Matt Biondi in 1988 to win gold in the 100m freestyle. Adrian also helped Team USA win the gold medal in the 4x100m medley and the silver in the 4x100m freestyle. These medals, to go along with his gold in the 4x100m freestyle in Beijing, should all fit nicely on the swimmer’s hulking 6’7’’ frame.
Adrian was born and raised in Bremerton, Wash., and began swimming when he was five years old, with the help of his bother and sister, who both went on to swim at the Division I collegiate level. Adrian attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a five-time individual NCAA champion, winning twice in the 50-yard freestyle and three times for the 100-yard freestyle. He graduated from Berkeley with honors in 2011 with a degree in Public Health and managed to balance his collegiate responsibilities with his competitive swimming aspirations, enabling him to amass a total of fifteen medals in international competition over his career.
Adrian’s mother was born and raised in China and, at a young age, Adrian was nicknamed “Bok Choi” by the girls on his swim team. Of course, now he bears the title of “three-time Olympic gold-medalist,” a distinction that was of particular importance to Adrian heading into the 2012 Games.
“I have a gold medal [from Beijing], but I was not on the podium, I was only a prelims relay swimmer,” Adrian told Uinterview exclusively prior to London. “It’s cool to be able to say ‘Hey, I’m an Olympic gold medalist,’ but I think it would mean a little more personally if I was actually in the water racing in that final seat, trying to get your hand on the wall first.”
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Yeah, absolutely. You know, my gold — I have a gold medal, but I was not on the podium, I was only a preliminary relay swimmer. It's cool to say, "Hey I'm an Olympic gold medalist," but I think it would mean more personally if I was actually in the water racing in [those] final feet, trying to get your hand on the wall first.
Not even before a race, but just in general, I don't follow a strict diet but I definitely try to stay away from too many simple sugars. I always make sure I have some fruits and vegetables, pretty much with every meal. I'll have a good ratio of proteins to carbs, and anything that you really think I probably don't eat, I probably don't eat it [laughing]. After the games there are quite a few things that I'll splurge on, one of which is ice cream. I really like ice cream, especially cookies 'n cream or mint chocolate chip. I also like Oreos dipped in milk. Something about an Oreo dipped in milk — it just soaks it up really well.
It means the world to wear Team USA on a cap, on a shirt, being able to kind of be an embodiment of what Team USA is. It takes a lot of responsibility to do that, too. It's not something that we take lightly, so it's an honor.
I can go through a quick Monday schedule. I wake up at 5:15 in the morning, get a quick breakfast, at the pool by 5:45, in the water at 6:00. Swim until about 7:45, 7:50, and then I go get second breakfast. Go home take a nap, wake up and get some more food, go to school and then go get some more food. Go to my weights practice at 12:30, lift weights from 12:30 to 2:15 or so. Then from 2:15 I get into the water until 3:30. After that it's just rest and relax, get some more food. Hang out with the guys, eat dinner, go to bed, get up and do the same thing the next day.
Yeah, a little bit — nothing too serious. I really try to relax as much as possible. I really think putting too much pressure on myself doesn't work — I think I don't manage my energy levels properly and I end up really tired from trying to focus that hard. So kind of taking a little bit of a relaxed approach, and then right behind the blocks is really when you kind of, when you get ready to jump in and do your thing.