Rewind: Live chat with Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Nathan Adrian
Bremerton native Nathan Adrian began swimming at the age of five and over the past four years has become one of the top swimmers in the world.
He recently won two gold medals (100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay) and a silver (4x100m freestyle relay) at the 2012 Olympics in London. He also earned a gold medal for contributing to an American team victory in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2008 Olympics.
At the 2008 World Championships (short course), he won two golds and a silver and at the 2009 and 2011 World Championship he took home a combined three golds and a bronze.
Adrian currently holds the American record in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle (short course) events.
He attended the University of California and is a five-time individual NCAA champion as he won the 50-yard freestyle in 2009 and 2011 as well as the 100-yard freestyle in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Adrian talked about his career in the pool, his memorable performances at the 2012 Olympics and more in a live chat Oct. 11 on seattletimes.com.
Thanks for joining us today. Please send in your questions for Nathan.
by Bob Wickwire, Seattle Times 11:00 AM
Nathan Adrian: Hey everybody, this is Nathan Adrian here. I'm excited to hang out with you all and answer as many questions as I possibly can in the next hour.
by ST Sports guest 11:01 AM
What is the best part about being an olympic athlete?
by Rachel Becker 11:02 AM
The best part about being an Olympic athlete, for me personally, it was just going through the entire experience of the Olympics with my Team USA teammates, whether it was the people who were on specifically the swim team or on any of the other teams. It was really cool experiencing the whole atmosphere, knowing that we were competing for our country and that there was something bigger than ourselves at stake here.
by ST Sports guest 11:03 AM
What motivates you everyday to do your best?
by Glafira 11:03 AM
The fact that I don't think I have achieved what my body is capable of. I think I have more to give to the sport and more to give to myself in terms of the satisfaction that comes with a great performance. That's something I think about every day and just try to better myself. The fact that I get to compete on a world stage is just kind of an added bonus.
by ST Sports guest 11:04 AM
Has there been any difficulty getting back into training again?
by Winny 11:04 AM
Yes and no. I've experienced the typical difficulties when it comes back to training, but after swimming well, many people might become complacent or think they can take a break. But I've had so much positive energy and just feed off my roommate Matt Grevers, and I've been excited to get back to training. It has been hard physically but fortunately emotionally, I've been in the right place to get back in the water and in the weight room.
by ST Sports guest 11:06 AM
What's the best pre-workout meal/food?
by Jam T. edited by Bob Wickwire, Seattle Times 11:06 AM
That's funny because in between questions, I'm eating my sandwich right now. I'm eating a turkey sandwich with all the condiments on it, no mayonaise, no mustard, on whole wheat bread. Something to fill me up, get my protein, my carbs, my fiber, get me fueled to go.
by ST Sports guest 11:07 AM
are you single?
by momo 11:07 AM
Yes, I am single. Leading up to the Games, I just had no time for anybody else besides my swimming, and right now I feel like I haven't met that special someone yet, but who knows what will happen in the future.
by ST Sports guest 11:07 AM
What do you listen to get you pumped up for a meet?
by Van N 11:08 AM
For something like the Olympics, I don't need to get pumped up for. The excitement, the added special something is already there. For something that's a little smaller, where the entire world isn't watching you, I do like to listen to some music. Something up-tempo, electronic, to get my blood pumping a little bit and put me in a good place mentally.
by ST Sports guest 11:09 AM
Are you still training at Cal?
by Florence 11:09 AM
Yes, my current plans include training at Cal for the next quadrenniel. I have great coaches and great facilities there, and I don't see why I should leave if this training is still working for me.
by ST Sports guest 11:09 AM
Whats the one thing, other than your medals, that was most memorable about london?
by lauren92 11:10 AM
I enjoyed the atmosphere of the Olympics in general, that basically exuded from London. Everywhere you went, you saw the Olympics, you saw the excitement that the people of London had for the Olympics, the city was just buzzing. Same thing in Beijing, I just loved the Olympic atmosphere outside of the Olympic Village. Once you see regular people, non-athletes, it really just gets you happy about what you're doing.
by ST Sports guest 11:11 AM
what are you going to be for Halloween?? :)))
by nathanadrianPH 11:11 AM
Currently the plan is to be in Guam for Halloween, and I'm not sure yet to be completely honest. I'm a last-minute Halloween guy. I'm not incredibly extravagant, but I usually throw something together. Until about the 31st at 8 p.m., I don't know.
by ST Sports guest 11:12 AM
Who's a famous celebrity have you met that really got you starstrucked to meet?
by _julianne92 11:12 AM
Oh man. This is difficult. To be completely honest, I've never really been star-struck. Maybe because I haven't met the right celebrity. Meeting someone like Michael and realizing that the greatest Olympian of all time is just another guy, he's just another person that happens to be really good at his sport. That kind of taught me a lesson -- everyone's human, whether or not you're a really mega movie star or whatever doesn't really faze me much.
by ST Sports guest 11:14 AM
How many swimming suit do u have and why do u like the colorful swimming suit
by Nadapearii 11:14 AM
I can't even count how many swimming suits I have. My sponsor Speedo has been really good to me, so anytime I need a swimming suit, I have one. I do enjoy the colorful swimming suits, it's funny that you say that. I think it's just more fun than a plain back swim suit. In a sport that doesn't have a lot of fashion involved, it's nice to have something a little bit expressive.
by ST Sports guest 11:15 AM
Can we be friends?
by miishmeesh 11:16 AM
Yeah, of course. I love making friends. Follow me on Twitter @nathangadrian. I'll do my best to try to reply to you. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or resources to respond to everybody who tweets at me, although I wish I could.
by ST Sports guest 11:16 AM
What's next for you both in and out of the pool now that you've graduated Cal and have 2 Games under your belt?
by GatorSabby 11:17 AM
Well, currently it's just kind of the road to Rio and following that path. There's going to be a major international competition every summer that I'm going to compete at and try to go fast at. That makes the quadrennial go faster than you think. You focus on something this year, and then next year, and all of the sudden you're training for the Olympic Trials. Outside of the pool, I have a little bit more free time and am getting to try to explore my interest that I didn't have time for in the past. Like reading for pleasure.
by ST Sports guest 11:18 AM
Have you ever suffered an injury that prevented u from swimming for a period of time? If so how did u cope?
by naomi_coates 11:19 AM
Yes, I've been very fortunate in my life that I didn't have too many injuries. I did have a couple when I was younger. I broke my pinky in P.E. class, and then two weeks after I got my cast off, I went snowboarding and broke my wrist. I was in a cast for two or three months. It was hard for me to just sit around and let my bone heal, because I didn't have a waterproof cast at the time. More recently, I've had some issues in my lower back, which have since been fixed with my great trainer and the staff here at Cal. But I would have muscle spasms and couldn't get out of bed. It was difficult, because it isn't in my nature to sit around and watch everyone else train. But fortunately, I've been healthy for awhile and knock on wood, I hope to continue to be like that.
by ST Sports guest 11:23 AM
What books do you like - besides Harry Potter, obviously?
by xoSilkexo 11:23 AM
Right now, I'm actually reading Unbroken, about this guy who faces a bunch of adversity, very very serious adversity like World War II, and he just came through and has a great outlook on life. I'm really inspired by it. I'm not too much into fantasy, it's usually some sort of historical or historical fiction type of books.
by ST Sports guest 11:25 AM
Do you have any pets? :-) If yes, what are their names?
by Pearroro 11:25 AM
I like to put it as, I got replaced by dogs my senior year when I left for school, by all my family members. My senior year, we adopted a puppy and named her Boo. Shortly after, my parents adopted another puppy and named her Roxie. My brother and sister's dogs are my favorite to see when I get home besides my nephew
by ST Sports guest 11:26 AM
I enjoy keeping in touch with my family, and I keep in touch with them on the phone and all that, but you can't do that with the dogs, so I'm almost the most excited to see the dogs when I go home.
by ST Sports guest 11:27 AM
Do you hear the crowd roaring when you’re swimming? Is it distracting?
by Nancy 11:27 AM
I don't swim an event that you can really hear anything. Usually my ears are covered by water. But before the race, you can obviously hear the roar of the crowd, and during relays, it's a big factor. It's only distracting if you let it be distracting. Probably my first or second time I was in front of a large audience, I let it get to me a little bit, but now that I've been around it, I love it. Just other people getting excited about what you're about to do, it's fun for me and I enjoy it.
by ST Sports guest 11:28 AM
What are your goals for after you retire i.e. med school on the horizon?
by Jia Chong 11:29 AM
Right now, I don't know. maybe because I'm a little shortsighted, but I've been very fortunate to say that swimming is going to be my profession for the next four or eight years, barring an injury. After that, my interests are a little bit split. I don't know if I want to go in the medical field or the business field. I enjoy both immensely. When the time comes to decide, that's when I'll make my decision. Right now, I just don't know though.
by ST Sports guest 11:30 AM
Are you looking forward to the Golden Goggle Awards? Will you meet your fans there?
by Jes 11:30 AM
Yes, I am looking forward to the Golden Goggles. I have not set my itinerary straight yet, but I do know that I will be participating in a USA Swimming Foundation event. I think it's Monday morning. I don't know the details yet, but stay tuned. Hopefully it will be open to the public, and if possible, I'd love to meet as many fans as possible.
by ST Sports guest 11:31 AM
Can you say hi to me?
by abbydanae 11:31 AM
by ST Sports guest 11:31 AM
if you could have one superpower, what would it be?
by Display Name:hanieyangs 11:32 AM
The Green Lantern is my favorite superhero, so I'll go with the Green Lantern's super powers.
by ST Sports guest 11:32 AM
Have there been moments you wanted to quit swimming?
by Lollies 11:32 AM
Yes! As with anything, there's going to be ups and downs. And when I was younger, there were a lot of times when I hated it and I didn't know what I was doing it for and the training was just so difficult all the time. And I saw my friends going to Friday night football games and hanging out on Saturdays, and here I was going to bed early so I could get up for an early swim meet that would literally last all day, and would get home at 10 p.m. and go to bed and do again. It was a hard thing as a kid, and in retrospect, it all worked out, and even if I had not been an Olympic champion, those were some of the most amazing experiences that I got to go through.
by ST Sports guest 11:34 AM
Hi Nathan! I'm in class right now so I have to be quick.. But is there any chance of me running into you this weekend at cal? :)
by hinateezy 11:34 AM
Unfortunately, no. I'll actually be going to Boston this weekend and then to Indianapolis to visit with my extended family and my sister and her husband and my new nephew, so I'm very excited about that. But I'll unfortunately be missing out on enjoying Cal this weekend.
by ST Sports guest 11:35 AM
What has been your craziest encounter with fans so far?
by Pam 11:36 AM
I wouldn't say anything has been crazy. There have been a couple of requests that I was a little bit taken aback by. It's always a little strange when you're in a setting when you're in formal clothes and someone asks me to take a picture with my shirt off. And to answer your question, I didn't do it; I didn't think it was appropriate. But I don't mind taking a picture in a Speedo anytime you're on a pool deck.
by ST Sports guest 11:37 AM
Will you marry me?
by Patty 11:38 AM
I couldn't find myself marrying anyone right now, because I just don't have enough time for anyone but myself. So I think it would be very selfish of me to marry anyone. But I am flattered by your question.
by ST Sports guest 11:38 AM
So perfect man, how do you stay grounded through all this?
by Lisa Chur 11:39 AM
There's something very humanizing about going through nine workouts a week that are absolutely exhausting. It feels very very normal to me to be completely exhausted by these workouts. It's kind of my coach pounding me into the ground every day and me going through this swimming thing all over again.
by ST Sports guest 11:40 AM
Do you have a role model or someone that you have looked up too? Someone that you aspire to be outside of swimming?
by ashley 11:40 AM
I think to best answer that, my role model I do see is Gary Hall Jr., but not for what he's done in the pool. He does happen to be a swimmer, but the work that he's done in his foundation supporting diabetes. It's just incredible. I heard a story once that there was a hotline on his website, and people would call in and discuss what they needed, and the hotline led directly to Gary Hall Jr., and how special is that. I've just looked up to him in so many different aspects.
by ST Sports guest 11:42 AM
What's your favorite city to visit domestically and internationally?
by JamLiske edited by Bob Wickwire, Seattle Times 11:42 AM
Ooh, that's a good one. I enjoy every city I go to for different reasons. But to keep this list short, I'll just list a few. I really enjoy swimming in Indianapolis, and we have a lot of meets there, and my extended family is there. I enjoy meets in southern California; the'yre generally outdoors and it's a great atmosphere. Internationally, London is my favorite city so far. I really liked the city and just getting around on public transportation. I enjoyed Rome as well, just the city itself. In the future, I have a lot of places I'd like to go, and I'm excited to eplore some different cities.
by ST Sports guest 11:44 AM
If you can be just as amazing in any other sport besides swimming, what would it be?
by erinnahhh 11:45 AM
In the extreme sports. First of all, I would never switch places with anybody. But if I could switch talents with anyone, it would be Travis Pastrana - he just switches sports whenever and he's just amazing. It just seems like the most fun and exciting lifestyle to live.
by ST Sports guest 11:46 AM
Do you have any strange or odd rituals before a meet?
by abbydanae 11:46 AM
I do not. I go through my very average routine. But I kind of have a personal belief about superstitions and these strange rituals, that I'm too forgetful to actually keep them. If I had a lucky rabbit's foot or a pillow or a teddy bear that I brought to every meet, I would forget them and it would end up hurting me. So I just choose not to partake in that.
by ST Sports guest 11:48 AM
What's number 1 on your bucket list?
by Rachel 11:48 AM
This morning I just tweeted out that I want to bring one of my medals to space, on one of those Virgin space flights. I don't know if that will ever happen, but that'd be fun. There are couple of different places that I would like to go visit and/or go compete in. Some places like Thailand or somewhere in Africa, or down to Brazil outside of Rio. I have some cool things on my bucket list. I'd like to go skydiving, and either hanggliding or paragliding. As I have more free time, I think of more. There'll probably be more to come in the future.
by ST Sports guest 11:51 AM
one word to describe the moment you saw you won a gold medal?
by modern_cynthia 11:51 AM
Indescribable. You couldn't put as many emotions that went through my head in one word. Just so much I was thankful for, people I'm thankful for, it was crazy.
by ST Sports guest 11:52 AM
Do you have any hidden talents?
by dianapai 11:54 AM
For someone of my height, I'm actually pretty good at handstands. I could never compete with the divers or the Olympic gymnasts, but I'm pretty good.
by ST Sports guest 11:54 AM
Do you play any video games? I know Matt Grevers is very open about his gaming, so how about you?
by kirchu 11:55 AM
I play a little bit of video games, but not much. But video games are actually how Matt and I keep in touch. It's fun to sit down and play and catch up on our lives. But otherwise, I feel like there are too many cool things in the Bay area, that I feel like I would be missing something if I just played video games all day.
by ST Sports guest 11:56 AM
When is the next time you will be back in the Seattle area?
by Andie Mizumoto 11:56 AM
by ST Sports guest 11:56 AM
Nathan tell me one thing that you can not resist
by YuncongZou 11:56 AM
First of all, funfetti, especially warm funfetti cakes. My housemates just kept cooking them for awhile and I couldn't help myself. And yesterday I was walking down the street with my friend. I could resist walking by n ice cream shop, buy my friend couldn't .And the strong smell of waffle cones was too much for me to resist. I can resist walking into the shop, but once I'm inside, the waffle cones just hook me by then.
by ST Sports guest 11:58 AM
What is the most memorable moment in London 2012?
by Thippy_Malathip 11:59 AM
I kind of made a decision not to make one particular memory my absolute favorite, because there were a lot of memories that were special for a lot of reasons. One of them was walking up to the podium and making eye contact with my mom. For so many reason, all the sacrifices she made. A lot of people say their my number one fan, but they are a close second to her, who is my number one fan. And the other would be the relay. My best friend Matt starting it off, Brendan in his last Olympics, Michael Phelps, and then I finished it off. Obviously winning an individual medal was amazing. There were just a lot of memories from London 2012 that were special for a lot of reasons.
by ST Sports guest 12:02 PM
Thanks for your participation and a big thanks to Nathan for taking time out of his busy training schedule to chat today on seattletimes.com.
by Bob Wickwire, Seattle Times 12:03 PM
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