In one-one hundredths of a second, Nathan Adrian’s life changed forever.
Adrian captured the attention of the country — and the world — Wednesday when he won the 100-meter freestyle in London by 0.01 seconds over Australia’s James “The Missile” Magnussen.
Reaction to the Bremerton native’s Olympic win was swift — with family, friends and fans flooding his Twitter and Facebook accounts with well wishes.
It’s just as well that Adrian is still in a cocoon while in London. There will be a mad dash by sponsors to sign the new superstar when he returns home.
To those who know him best, it’s not a surprise sponsors will be knocking down his door.
Adrian is as genuine, humble, and yes, adorable and charming, as a guy could be. There is a sweetness to him, a gentleness in his 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame. He’s savvy with social media. The description of himself on Twitter (@nathangadrian) is as a “swimmer, Olympian and Child at heart.”
Adrian won the hearts of millions of new fans — read, young ladies — with the reaction to his victory.
It was pure, simple joy.
The fist pump. His endearing smile. The shock and realization of just what he had done finally setting in as he clung on the lane line, covering his face with his hand.
I think all of Kitsap and the nation celebrated right along with him.
There is talk that American gymnast and newly-minted all-around champion Gabby Douglas could see an estimated $3 million in sponsorship thanks to her gold-medal performance.
Is Adrian’s gold worth as much?
Who knows. But there’s no question he’s marketable.
Adrian’s coach at California in Berkeley, Dave Durden, said Adrian is “taking it all in” and is appreciative of the opportunity he earned to represent Team USA.
“He’s very methodical,” Durden said. “It won’t change him as a person. That’s what’s really special about him.”
His win will almost certainly bring with it more expectations.
“My life may change now,” Adrian told USA Today. “I’m just taking it all in for what it is.”
It also means his secluded life in California — which he shares with his roommates in a six-bedroom mansion in Oakland hills — will be under the spotlight.
Nathan Adrian is the total package, yet his family knows no matter what the future holds, he will remain the same person he has always been.
“He’s so humble,” said Justin Adrian, Nathan’s brother, from London. “He won’t change. When he comes home, he’s Nathan.”
And I bet Bremerton can’t wait to welcome home its favorite son.
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