Monthly Archives: December 2013

Nathan Adrian larger than life role model for Kitsap

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 2012.

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. 14.

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 YMCA.

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 tremendous.

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 them.

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 watching them.”

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 home.

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 January.

“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 iconic.”




Nathan Adrian: 12th Man Flag Raiser

Consider it just another feather in the cap of Bremerton’s Olympic champion Nathan Adrian.

Adrian raised the 12th Man flag before Sunday’s Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals NFC West Division game at CenturyLink Field. The honor is reserved for celebrities, former athletes and other notables who have ties to Seattle and the Puget Sound area.

Adrian tweeted a photo before the game and had a photo go to with it, saying he “couldn’t be more stoked” to raise the flag.

He is not the first Bremerton swimmers to raise the flag however. That distinct honor belongs to Bremerton’s first family of swimming, Tara Kirk Sell and Dana Kirk Martin. They raised the flag after returning home from the 2004 Athens Games.

Adrian has also been on the field, along with other Bay Area Olympians, for the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants and Oakland Raiders games.

Adrian, who lives in Berkeley where he trains with California, flew into Sea-Tac Saturday, attended the game Sunday and will be back in Bremerton to celebrate the holidays with his family this week.

Local divers place at NW Holiday meet

Bainbridge Island Dive Club coach Chris Miller, left, and divers Duncan Platz, Jackie Hellmers, Cammy Rouser and Zora Opalka, competed at the AAU Northwest Holiday Dive Meet in Beaverton, Ore.
Bainbridge Island Dive Club coach Chris Miller, left, and divers Duncan Platz, Jackie Hellmers, Cammy Rouser and Zora Opalka, competed at the AAU Northwest Holiday Dive Meet in Beaverton, Ore.

Bainbridge Island Dive Club’s Duncan Platz of Kingston won the Future Champions 1-meter diving event at the AAU Northwest Holiday Classic dive meet Dec. 7-8 in Beaverton, Ore. The meet included 64 divers from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Platz finished with a score of 147 in the 12-13 age division. He was also second in the 3-meter event with a score of 120.

BIDC’s Jackie Hellmers, of Poulsbo, finished third in the 12-13 Junior Olympic (156) and Future Champions (146) 3-meter events. Bainbridge’s Zora Opalka, and Cammy Rouser, of Kingston, finished sixth and seventh in the 14-15 Junior Olympic 3-meter competition with scores of 250 and 221, respectively. Opalka was also sixth in the Junior Olympic 1-meter (224) and Rouser was ninth (205).

BIDC, which is coached by Chris Miller, also met two-time Olympian Kelly McCormick, who won silver in the 1984 Games and bronze in 1998. She also won nine national springboard titles and two Pan Am golds.

Athlete ambassador Nathan Adrian and Right to Play video

Nathan Adrian is a Right to Play athlete ambassador and is asking for everyone’s help to make a donation for the organization’s latest funding drive.

You can watch the video here.

According to Right to Play’s website, the organization’s mission “is to use sport and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities around the world.



Nathan Adrian swim cap gives nod to Bremerton roots

One of five specially-designed swim caps gives a nod to Bremerton’s Naval roots in Speedo USA’s latest campaign, the Art of the Cap.

Nathan Adrian wearing his limited-edition Art of the Cap, with a special nod to his Bremerton roots.
Nathan Adrian wearing his limited-edition Art of the Cap, with a special nod to his Bremerton roots.

Nathan Adrian, a Bremerton native and multiple Olympic gold medalist, worked with illustrator Gianmarco Magnani to design a limited-edition swim cap for Speedo USA. Speedo is one of Adrian’s sponsors.

Proceeds from Adrian’s cap (Natalie Coughlin, Ryan Lochte, Cullen Jones and Dana Vollmer also have Art of the Cap designs as well) will go toward his chosen charity, Kids Beating Cancer. The non-profit organization was founded by Margaret Voight Guedes in memory of her son in 1992. It’s goal is to make sure every child diagnosed with cancer can receive treatment despite the family’s financial situation.

“Kids with cancer have the same desires as other children,” Adrian said on Speedo’s website. “It’s important to do whatever you can to help a kid feel like a kid.”

You can watch his video explaining the design, his charity and why he chose to be involved by clicking here.

cap-2According to Speedo’s website, the cap’s design “is a tribute to Adrian’s hard-working hometown Bremerton, Washington, home to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The cap evokes the speed, power, and integrity of a battleship as you move through the water.”

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Adrian does have the power to move through the water like a battleship in his sprint freestyle events. Adrian said he wanted to give Bremerton some attention back because of the tremendous amount of support he has received over the years from his hometown.

Nathan Adrian sweeps sprint freestyles on birthday

The now 25-year-old Nathan Adrian won the 100-yard freestyle at the 2013 Winter National Championships at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday.

Adrian, Bremerton’s defending Olympic gold medalist in the event, celebrated his birthday with a win in 41.39 seconds. He holds the American record of 41.08 set in 2009. Adam Brown of the New York Athletic Club was second in 41.89 and fellow Olympic gold medalist (100 backstroke) Matt Grevers was third in 41.99.

Adrian was serenaded with the birthday song by the Knoxville crowd following his race. He won the 50 free on Thursday.

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian wins another national title

Olympic champion Nathan Adrian got off to a shaky start but turned on the speed in the second 25-yards and won the 50-yard freestyle at the 2013 winter nationals at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on Thursday.

The Bremerton native touched the wall in 18.89 seconds, off his American record of 18.66. Josh Schneider of the New York Athletic Club was second in 19.07 and Adam Brown, also of the NYAC, was third in 19.13. Adrian’s Olympics teammate Matt Grevers, and 100 backstroke gold medalist, was fourth in 19.24. Cullen Jones won the consolation finals in 19.37.

Adrian won the long-course meter 50 and 100 freestyles at the 2011 winter nationals. He now has a combined six national championships.

“I know I didn’t hit my start quite that great, but I made up for it with a decent turn and decent finish,” Adrian said in a post-race online interview with NBC.

Adrian will be back in the pool on Saturday, his 25th birthday.

Asked what turning 25 means to him, Adrian said, “I can now rent a car.”

Nathan Adrian, Katie Ledecky, Missy Franklin headline winter nationals

Nathan AdrianMug.jpg
Nathan Adrian

Multi-Olympic gold medalists Nathan Adrian of Bremerton, distance specialist Katie Ledecky and the reigning queen of the pool Missy Franklin are expected to headline the U.S. Winter National Championships, starting Wednesday and running through Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn.

Other top Americans include Olympic gold medalists Natalie Coughlin, Matt Grevers and Cullen Jones, as well as Rachel Bootsma, Caitlin Leverenz, Chloe Sutton and Connor Jaeger, are scheduled to swim at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center.

A strong field of international Olympians will compete, including Yulduz Kuchkarova of Uzbekistan, Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin, Great Britain’s Adam Brown and South Africa’s Darian Townsend.

Preliminaries begin at 6 a.m. (local time) with finals at 2 p.m. The 50-yard freestyle is Thursday while the 100 free is Sunday.

A live webcast of prelims and finals will be available at National TV coverage will air on NBC on Saturday, Dec. 21 from 2-3 p.m.