Nathan Adrian: The Next Michael Phelps?
Like most of the world, we at Pink and Black obsessed over the 2012 London Summer Olympics. The competition, the talent and the photo finishes all had us home every night to catch the action. But if we had to pick one thing we are missing most since the conclusion of the Games, it would probably be watching American swimmer, Nathan Adrian. Lucky for us, at age 23, Nathan’s career is just getting started. He is already talking about swimming at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, so be prepared to see those perfectly chiseled abs and glittery smile again. Until then, you will have to excuse us for obsessing over this up-and-comer who some speculate may be “the next Michael Phelps.”
Although he participated in the 2008 Beijing games, winning gold along with his team in the 4×100 freestyle relay (which included Michael Phelps), Nathan only caught our eye this summer when he won individual gold in arguably one of the most competitive Olympic events—the men’s 100 meter freestyle final. He beat the world champion, James “the Missile” Magnussen of Australia, by one hundredth of a second. He also shared a team silver for the 4×100 freestyle race, which won Michael Phelps his 19th Olympic medal and won another gold in the 4×100 medley.
While it’s unlikely that he will top Michael Phelp’s medal count, Nathan’s irresistible charm and humility along with his tremendous talent in the pool are attracting sponsors and the public alike. This guy is the whole package: he graduated with honors in May from UC Berkeley with a degree in public health, he is on-track to become a doctor (though med school may have to wait until, you know, after the next few Olympics), he is proud of his half-Chinese heritage and is a totally laid-back west-coast guy. Plus, he’s humble. Three of Nathan’s Olympic medals thus far have been in team relays and he appears honored to share the spotlight. In his recent appearance on the TODAY Show Nathan got “chills” when realizing he was part of the team that won Michael Phelps his record-breaking 19th medal.
So if, like us, you are replaying the video of his genuine, I-can’t-believe-I-just-won reaction to the results of the 100-meter freestyle race or can’t get enough of his adorably awkward facial expressions, here are a few more fun facts about America’s new Olympic crush:
- He was on an episode of MythBusters before he became a household name.
- He believes in aliens.
- He has always been adorable.
- During a race, his suit ripped down the back and he still beat Michael Phelps.
- His Twitter profile says he is a kid at heart and this video proves it.
- He can’t resist our favorite nostalgic treat.
Story by Hillary Reeves, contributing writer.