Nathan Adrian, it seems, will always be a favored son of
Bremerton. That’s no less true today as it was the moment he won
his first individual Olympic gold medal at the London Olympics in
Adrian was back in B-town Monday to help the Bremerton Family
YMCA and Bremerton School District kickoff its water safety program
for all district third graders. That program will begin Jan.
The excitement on the faces of the kids was only outdone by the
admiration in the eyes of their parents on Monday.
About 40 children, mostly third graders, their families and
staff of the six BSD elementaries were invited to the event at the
Not only does Adrian stand 6-foot-6, which will draw your eye
anyway, but every single adult knew the accomplishments he’s made
in and out of the pool. The round of applause he received when YMCA
aquatics director Rich Tate told the gathered crowd of his 4.0 GPA
while in school at the University of California in 2012 was
A hard work ethic breeds respect and Adrian has plenty of the
latter from the Bremerton community.
“He is a huge role model for kids across the world,” said View
Ridge teacher Katie Sprague. “These kids know that he went to our
school, they know that he’s an Olympic medalist, but to get to see
him in person and to get to see that they matter enough that he
would come and show up and spend time signing autographs and
answering questions, it’s a great bonus for these kids.”
Adrian believes it’s important to give back to the community
that supports him so well.
“I have been blessed in my career with the ability to continue
to swim and to excel at swimming, but at the same time that comes
with a responsibility of giving back. Everybody has their different
ways of giving back. This is just one great and perfectly timed
(event), and it’s so fitting to come together with a swim program
for a swimmer.”
Adrian didn’t have a world-class athlete visit his age-group or
club teams when he was younger. He was always surrounded by
Adrian said having fellow Bremertonians Tara and Dana Kirk pave
the way by swimming at the Olympics and in college (they both
graduated from Stanford University) had a huge impact on him.
“I just saw them pave this amazing road,” he said. “That
(swimming in college) became a reality, an option, as I got older.
… I was really blessed that I got to experience what I experienced
At Monday’s event Adrian was stopped at nearly every turn, as
fans of all ages asked for pictures and autographs while he was
given a tour of the facility since its remodel.
Quite frankly, it’s fun for me to see as well because I know how
appreciative he is of the support he has whenever he comes
It’s a short stay for the holidays as Adrian will head back to
Berkeley, Calif., later this week. He, and his teammates from Cal,
including the post-grad group of Anthony Ervin and Natalie
Coughlin, will go to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado
Springs, Colo., for some intensive high-altitude training in
“It’s fantastic training,” he said.
It’s also pretty hardcore.
Adrian’s next competition will be the Austin Grand Prix, Jan.
17-19, at the University of Texas. He’s also been invited for a
meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, host of the 2016 Olympics. It’s a
chance for American swimmers to get an idea of what it will be like
in Rio in two years. If it happens, it would be February or March,
and is something along the lines of the Duel in the Pool.
Adrian was also thrilled to learn that his Art of the Cap campaign by Speedo and artist
Gianmarco Magnani, was a complete success. The caps, which were
limited editions and included other artists that teamed with fellow
Speedo athletes Dana Vollmer, Natalie Coughlin, Cullen Jones and
Ryan Lochte. Proceeds from the sales of Adrian’s cap went to his
charity, Kids Beating Cancer. All five caps sold out.
“That was really, really cool,” Adrian said. “To partner up with
an artist and charity as well, I think they picked a perfect artist
for me. I’m not super into abstract art … so I think the ship
design, and having the anchor there, every time I see the cap in
reminds me of driving into Bremerton (past the shipyard). It’s so
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