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article imageInterview with Nathan Adrian: Olympic gold medalist swimmer Special

By Markos Papadatos     Sep 28, 2017 in Sports
Five-time Olympic gold medalist and world champion swimmer Nathan Adrian (Team USA) chatted with Digital Journal. He opened up about his respected career in swimming, and he shared his advice for hopefuls who wish to go into swimming.
At the 2016 Olympic Games that were held in Rio de Janeiro, Adrian took home two gold medals (4 x 100 meter freestyle relay and 4 x 100 meter medley relay) and two bronze medals in the 50 meter freestyle and 100 meter freestyle. "That was good," he said, with a sweet laugh. "We always go into something like the Olympics trying to come away with the most medals possible, and I had four possible swims, and came away with four medals."
The 4 x 100 meter medley race in particular was special for Adrian, since it was Michael Phelps' final career Olympic relay. "I always feel honored to be trusted with that position of anchoring the medley relay. That was a spot that I was able to watch when I was a kid. I understood how special it is, and to be there is really an honor," he said.
Adrian two first place wins at the relays at the Rio Olympics brought his career gold Olympic medal count to five: in 2008, in Beijing, he previously also won the gold at the 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay, and in 2012, in London, he won the individual gold in the 100 meter freestyle, as well as gold in the 4 x 100 meter medley.
This August, Adrian took home three gold medals and one silver at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. "This summer was awesome," he admitted. "We didn't know how we were going to do after a historic 2016. Although Michael [Phelps] wasn't there, a lot of people stepped up and filled in those shoes."
Adrian had nothing but the greatest remarks about fellow Olympic swimmer Cody Miller. "Cody is a great guy," he said. "I spent a lot of time with Cody after the meet. We went to Italy, and we did another competition out there. It has been fun watching him develop into the athlete that he is now."
Each day, Adrian is motivated by his drive and ambition. "I like to see how far we can take this, and how fast we can go," he said. "We have to get really technical about this. What you do in practice has to be very specific and catered towards what you want to do at the end of the year. I find a lot of joy in trying to make little tweaks here and there to make that as efficient as possible."
He revealed that his future plans are to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games. "I love my job! It's definitely a grind," he admitted. "Waking up really early and swimming. These days I wake up at 4:50 a.m., but I still enjoy it."
Digital transformation of aquatics
Regarding the impact of technology on aquatics, Adrian said, "If you go back far enough, I certainly didn't expect everyone to have a cell phone and the ability to record video, basically in their pocket at any time, and that's a blessing. At training camp, I can ask any swimming staffer to tape it on video, and we look at it afterwards, and we can get instant feedback. That has been great for training. What USA Swimming does with their technologies is pretty special, especially with the technology that they use at the Olympic Training Center. That helps analyze different angels, velocities and the amplitude."
When asked how he uses technology in his daily routine, Adrian said, "Living in the city these days, I use Waze every day, to drive through the traffic. Besides that, video analysis has been really helpful, and USA Swimming gathers stats for us, and it really breaks down the races for us. That way, we can look at my race, and somebody who may be faster than me, and try to develop those portions that are under-performing."
For aspiring swimmers, his advice is as follows: "You've got to learn to love the grind, and you've got to understand what it is that you are really working for. The prize is at the end of the year."
On the key to longevity in swimming, he said, "You need to enjoy the grind and the process. You need to take care of yourself, especially when you get older, and make sure that you are putting healthy, nutritious food in your body on a regular basis. Also, try to avoid injury. A lot of careers got derailed due to injuries. I work with my physical therapist on a regular basis."
Adrian defined the word success as "Being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be."
For his loyal fans, Adrian concluded, "Thank you for supporting me all these years. This has been a dream come true!"
To learn more about Olympic gold medalist swimmer Nathan Adrian, follow him on Instagram and check out his official homepage.
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