Nathan Adrian of Bremerton won his third medal at the Rio
Olympics on Friday when he finished with a bronze in the
50-meter freestyle in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Adrian touched the wall in 21.49 seconds. U.S. teammate Anthony
Ervin won the gold in 21.40 and France’s Florent
Manaudou, who won gold in 2012, earned the silver in
Adrian won a gold medal on Sunday anchoring the 4×100 free relay
and then won a bronze in the 100 freestyle in Wednesday.
He will swim in the 4×100 medley relay at 6 p.m. on Saturday and
look to earn his fourth medal.
Olympic champion Nathan Adrian of Bremerton earned a bronze
medal in the 100 freestyle on Wednesday evening, in
47.85 seconds at the Rio Olympics.
Adrian was trying to become the first American to win
back-to-back golds in the sprint event since Johnny Weismuller did
it in 1924-28.
“I feel great about getting another medal, man. No doubt,” he
said. “To be able to look at the side of the block and see that
there’s lights there. It’s what you work for. It would be great to
have gold, but in this day and age in the 100 freestyle’s maybe the
most fickle event out there.”
It’s Adrian’s second medal of the games, he anchored the
4×100 free relay on Sunday to a win, and his sixth career
Olympic medal. Adrian was out-touched at the wall by gold medalist
Kyle Chalmers in 47.58 and Belgium’s Pieter Timmers in 47.80
Adrian said he believed he was able to swim his own race.
“I did. I was next to a couple of guys who come home really
fast,” he said. “In a pool this small, there’s no getting away from
He will swim Thursday morning in the preliminaries in the 50
freestyle with the semifinals at 6 p.m.
It would have been a major upset in Olympic swimming if the
reigning 100 freestyle champion failed to qualify for the
semifinals, but Nathan Adrian managed to squeak into tonight’s
semis in 16th place.
Adrian, coming off a gold-medal performance Sunday as part of
the 4×100 free relay,
finished last in his preliminary heat in 48.58 seconds.
Teammate Caeleb Dressel also made the semis with the second fastest
time in 47.91. Australia’s Kyle Chalmers was the fastest qualifier
Adrian wasn’t too concerned and spoke to swimswam.com following
his morning’s race.
“It was alright, feeling a little rusty this morning, trying to
get back into the meet after a pretty late night the other night.
It doesn’t affect anything really, you’re swimming for a lane, and
tonight is going to be the same thing, we’re swimming for a lane.
Actually, I’m pretty happy to get an outside lane, it’s always nice
to get a little clean water, so looking forward to it tonight.”
Tonight’s session can be viewed live online at nbcolympics.com
or on CBC locally starting at 6 p.m.
NBC is showing a highlight, tape delayed broadcast that includes
swimming that starts about 7 p.m.
Bremerton’s Tara Kirk Sell, and her sister Dana Kirk Martin,
paved the way for swimmers to dream big. The sisters were the first
to make a U.S. Olympic swim team when they competed at the 2004
Athens Games. Tara won a silver medal as a member of the 4×100
She now lives in Baltimore with her husband and two young
children, and wrote this op-ed piece for the Baltimore Sun. Kirk
Sell, a public health researcher and associate at the UPMC Center
for Health Security in Baltimore, gives a great insightful voice on
the public health concerns of Zika from the Olympians point of
view. There has been talk from some in the public health
sector to cancel the Rio Olympics due to Zika.
Here’s an excerpt;
“With the Zika outbreak in the Americas raging and the growth of
scientific support about potential birth defects from maternal
infection, some in public health have called for the 2016
Summer Olympics in Rio to be postponed or moved. As a
fellow public health researcher and a pregnant Olympian swimmer and
silver medalist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, I have a close-up
perspective on both sides of this issue and believe this opinion
does not balance the risks appropriately.”
Here’s a another good column by Associated Press national writer
Paul Newberry on Arkady Vyatchanin, who wants to compete for Serbia
at the Rio Games instead of Russia. Vyatchanin won bronze at the
2008 Beijing Games in the 100 and 200-meter backstrokes.
Here’s the story;
ORLANDO, Fla. — Arkady Vyatchanin loves his country.
He just doesn’t want to represent Russia at the Olympics.
That stance has left the swimmer in legal limbo with the Rio
Games less than five months away, the pawn in a political
tug-of-war that again shows just how little the guys in charge
actually care about the athletes.
“I guess I underestimated the burden that I’ll carry,” said
Vyatchanin, who lives and trains in the United States and wants to
swim for Serbia in what very well could be his last shot at the
Vyatchanin has an impressive resume. At the 2008 Beijing Games,
he captured a pair of bronze medals, finishing behind American
winners Aaron Peirsol in the 100-meter backstroke and Ryan Lochte
in the 200 back. He also has four medals from the world
championships — three silvers and a bronze.
After a disappointing performance at the London Olympics, where
Vyatchanin failed to qualify for the final in either backstroke
event, he had a falling-out with the Russian swimming federation
over his decision to begin training in Gainesville, Florida, under
renowned coach and longtime Lochte mentor Gregg Troy.
More troubling, Vyatchanin had serious concerns about just how
committed his country was to the battle against doping, a stance
that turned out to be very well-founded given the almost daily
revelations of ramping cheating throughout Russian sports.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova acknowledged this week that she had
tested positive for a banned substance, while the country’s track
and field athletes remain barred from international competition —
including, possibly, the Olympics — after a ruling Friday found
“significant work” was still required to clean up a major doping
“It is pretty wide open right now with all the doping cases,”
Vyatchanin said, a sadness in his voice. “I was afraid that I could
get caught up with that stuff just for raising my voice.”
He began searching for a new country, sending letters to
virtually every European nation with a swimming team. He also made
inquiries with the United States, but learned the process for
becoming a citizen might not be completed in time for Rio.
Knowing he would be 32 by the time of the Olympics, Vyatchanin
couldn’t afford to let another quadrennial pass him by.
A year ago, he received his Serbian passport, which should’ve
been enough to lock up his trip to South America.
Not so fast, said international governing body FINA, which
invoked an onerous residency rule to hold up Vyatchanin’s bid to
switch countries, according to Vyatchanin.
“The bottom line in my case is that I did not break any rules,”
he said. “All I want to do is swim.”
When FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu was questioned in
an email about Vyatchanin’s status, the organization’s legal team
came back with a vague reply that merely said, “Thank you for your
email and interest in the sports of aquatics. Please note that the
request for changing the sport nationality of Mr. Arkady Vyatchanin
is under consideration in FINA.”
Granted, FINA has some well-founded concerns about athletes
hopping from country to country, sometimes merely looking to find a
team better suited to their Olympic goals.
But Vyatchanin hasn’t competed for Russia in more than three
years, skipping the last two world championships, and the doping
scandal in his country would seem reason enough to allow him — and
any other clean athlete, for that matter — to move on.
“I love my country,” he said. “I don’t like the government,
This has been a poignant ordeal for Vyatchanin, who would
certainly prefer to race for his home country at the Olympics.
While he would be incredibly proud to win a medal for sports-mad
Serbia, which is giving him a chance to fulfill his dreams, there
would surely be mixed emotions about having a banner other than
Russia’s raised in his name.
“It is not right that a person should have to leave his country
because of fear,” he said. “At the same time, I don’t think the
Olympics or any other major sporting event should be about
countries. It’s about who’s the fastest swimmer. It’s about the
There are no regrets about moving to the U.S. to train in 2011.
If anything, Vyatchanin only wishes he had started the process to
find a new country even sooner.
“I didn’t feel like I needed permission,” he said. “I’m a
grown-up man. I felt I could make the decision that is better for
Vyatchanin, who is getting sponsorship help from the New York
Athletic Club, remains hopeful that everything will work out in the
end. As he says on his Twitter profile: “Never give up!”
There is only one thing for FINA to do when it finally rules on
After waiting around for the other events in the first morning
session of the U.S. Winter Nationals, Nathan Adrian won his heat of
the 50-meter freestyle rather convincingly Thursday at the King
County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
Adrian touched the wall in 22.29 seconds, second overall and
tied with Brad Tandy. The finals will include Josh Schneider,
Anthony Ervin, Paul Powers, Geoff Cheah, Matt Grevers, Cullen
Jones and Santo Condorelli.