Yesterday, part Chinese swimmer Nathan Adrian out-touched Australia’s James Magnussen by one-hundredth of a second to win gold in the men’s 100m freestyle. He jumped out to a good start in the first half, touching third at the wall. But the real race came down to the last 50 meters going stroke-for-stroke down the homestretch against James “The Missle” Magnussen. Adrian touched in 47.52 seconds, while Magnussen, the 2011 world champion in the 100, in 47.53 seconds. In that split second, Nathan Adrian became the first American to win the event in 24 years.
“People are coming back so fast these days,” Adrian said. “I’m a little more known for going out strong and kind of hurting on the way home, so I wanted to conserve a little more energy (in the first half) and come home strong this time. This guy’s an incredible closer, and I knew it was going to take a lot more than I’d ever done before to keep up.”
“The most important lesson I learned from the 2011 World Championships is that every time I’m in a heat, I rid myself of externalities,” Adrian said. “(In my head) we’re like a group of fourth graders in the school yard racing for the wall. That’s where I’m most confident in my racing, and that’s what I tried to do tonight.”
“I kind of touched the wall and thought, ‘Oh, sweet, I’ve won my heat,’” Adrian said. “Then there’s 10 to 15 seconds where it kind of sunk in, and I had to double check because I didn’t want to be that guy who was celebrating and got eighth or something.”
He joins fellow HAPA athlete Kyla Ross in winning gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Nathan Adrian wins gold in men’s 100m freestyle at 2012 Summer Olympics
More about Nathan Adrian
Adrian’s mother, Cecilia, is Chinese and was born and raised in Hong Kong. She move to the U.S. in 1968 and met Adrian’s father, Jim, at the University of Portland. Cecilia has never been to mainland China but gave all three of her children a Chinese middle name. Nathan’s roughly means “little pony,” which Cecilia explains is representative of “the most precious things one can possess.” Adrian has an older sister, Donella, who swam at Arizona State, and an other brother, Justin, who swam at Washington. His nickname is “Bok Choi,” given to him by girls on one of his swim teams after they discovered his Asian heritage.