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article imageNathan Adrian talks USA Swimming Foundation, health and success Special

By Markos Papadatos     May 22, 2019 in Sports
New York - Eight-time Olympic medalist Nathan Adrian sat down and chatted with this journalist at a hotel in New York City about the USA Swimming Foundation, the 2019 "Make A Splash" Tour. He also opened up about his health and shared his definition of success.
"It feels good to be here in New York," he said, about the 50th stop of the "Make A Splash" Tour, presented by Phillips 66. Adrian serves as an ambassador for the USA Swimming Foundation, which raises awareness on drowning prevention and water safety.
"Being a part of the USA Swimming Foundation was something that has been on my radar since I first turned pro. Swimming has gifted me the ability to extend this as my career for a while and swimming teaches you so many great lessons," he said.
"Swimming teaches you so many ways to handle life and adversity. Also, swimming is a life-saving skill. The statistics speak for themselves when you hear that 10 people drown in the U.S. each day, and almost 25 percent of those people are children. The great news is that formalized swimming lessons reduce that risk by 88 percent and that is very uplifting," he elaborated.
This past weekend, Adrian raced for the first time at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Bloomington, Indiana, following his treatments for testicular cancer. He competed in the men's 100 meter freestyle and the men's 50 freestyle.
When asked about his health, Adrian acknowledged that he "feels good" and he is in good spirits. "I am going to be dealing with this for the next two years, for sure," he said. "It feels like we are turning the page. It is nice to be focused on swimming and swimming fast."
The world-renowned swimmer was able to face some of life's biggest challenges this year with dignity and grace, and he exuded a great deal of heart, perseverance, and strength, which are an inspiration to us all.
Adrian gave a special shout-out to his family, especially his mother, Cecelia, and wife, Hallie, for being there for him during that time. "I did have my mom and I did have Hallie there. They were incredible. My mom dropped everything right away. I am very fortunate and I do appreciate it. I hope nobody has to go through that alone ever. That kept my head and my emotions where I needed to be," he said.
Ever since Adrian has used his platform as a world-class swimmer to raise awareness of men's health issues. This past April was Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, and via an Instagram post, he encouraged young men to go see their doctors when they first realize something is wrong, which may ultimately save them from unnecessary chemotherapy later on, and eventually may help save their lives.
On being a swimmer in this digital age, Adrian said, "Cullen Jones and I are fun case studies since we have been swimming since social media was new. It is different. It has obviously changed the landscape. Technology does change it for the better since it gives people insights in their lives, their training styles and what they are doing. It adds an additional level of accessibility. It is fun to be a part of the digital age."
Adrian had nothing but the greatest remarks about his coach, Dave Durden, at the University of California, Berkeley, who will also be the Men's Swimming Head Coach for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. "Dave is a very smart man," Adrian said.
Success for Adrian is "constantly evolving and constantly changing." "People ask me what my favorite Olympics was, but for each Olympics, I was a different person. For each time period in my life, success has meant different things," he said.
Adrian continued, "Success in the pool means swimming fast and winning goal medals. In my personal life, success means being a good husband, family member, and friend. Also, success for me is teaching a lot of children how to swim. Hearing the statistic that swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent is very powerful."
For his fans and supporters, Adrian said, "I really can't put into words what all of their support has meant. Nobody is going to be motivated each and every morning when they wake up to go swim in a cold pool. Kind words can provide that extra motivation and be that little extra boost. They can change your day for the better, and people have done that for me over and over and over again, especially when I needed it most, so I really appreciate it."
A fun fact about Adrian was that he was a part of the USA Olympic Swimming Team's video parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." "That was a while ago. Gosh. 2012," he recalled with a laugh.
To learn more about world champion swimmer and eight-time Olympic medalist Nathan Adrian, follow him on Instagram and on Twitter.
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