A street in the shadow of the pool that was often the training ground for Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian will be renamed in his honor.
Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent confirmed the city is working on details of a ceremony celebrating the swimmer while he is here. The plans are unresolved at this point, but the ceremony will take place near what is now Sumac Street.
The street just off Schley Boulevard has no one living on it yet, but it is part of the East Park development and is platted for at least four houses.
Once the City Council gets an ordinance through its process, the street will be officially renamed Nathan Adrian Drive, the mayor said, because “Don’t you think it’s his drive that got him there?”
Lent said Kitsap County CenCom officials, responsible for dispatching police and fire crews throughout the county, approved the name change. The new property owners planning to develop the site have also approved. Eight members of the Bremerton City Council are on board. The one who isn’t just hadn’t been asked about it yet.
The mayor said the city wanted to pick a street near the Glenn Jarstad Aquatic Center now operated by the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, because Adrian did some of his training there. She said she believes some people who swim there now will at some point walk over to the nearby Nathan Adrian Drive to have their pictures taken by the street sign.
The council will have to approve an ordinance and will discuss it at the study session Wednesday. Actual approval will probably wait at least until the council’s next regular meeting in September, Lent said.
Adrian, who grew up in Bremerton, won two gold medals and a silver at the London Olympic Games. One of his gold medals was for his first place finish in the men’s 100-meter freestyle competition.
Organizing the Bremerton celebration where he will receive a street sign will take some coordination between the city, YMCA officials and Adrian himself. The mayor said it will likely occur within the next two weeks while Adrian is in town.
The 6-foot-6 Adrian, two inches taller than Michael Phelps, won gold in the 400-meter freestyle relay preliminary round in 2008 as a 19-year-old. Adrian showed his good-natured side after Beijing with an appearance on TV’s “Mythbusters,” where he swam in a lane of syrup to prove — well, we’re not sure.
At top speed and minus the sticky hair, Adrian is impressive. He’s a national champion in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle — swimming’s marquee events before Phelps and Ryan Lochte siphoned the spotlight — and this was supposed to be Adrian’s breakout Olympics.
But the sprints are also crapshoots. Adrian failed to qualify for the 50 freestyle in one of the biggest shocks of the Olympic trials. Surprise qualifier Anthony Ervin, who tied Hall for 2000 gold and has barely been heard from since, beat Adrian to the wall by eight-hundredths of a second behind Cullen Jones.
Eight hundredths. Think you had a bad day at work? How about pouring your soul into a four-year mission and coming up short by a fingertip? That’s how suspenseful, and wrenching, the Olympic season can be.
Adrian will still swim the 100, a race he won at the trials, and is a strong bet to anchor the 400 free and medley relays.
“While you’re at the Olympics, it’s easier to say, ‘Hey, I’m swimming for Team USA,’ but when you’re swimming at an individual level, it really is a different type of motivation,” Adrian said. “I’m not sure if I’ve harnessed the same power that I’ve harnessed from competing for a team. But I’m on my way.”
His goggles, trunks, and caps from the 4x100 relay in the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be on display in the Kitsap Historical Society until September.
Where: Kitsap Historical Society & Museum (280 4th St., Bremerton)
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
More info: go to kitsaphistory.org or call 360-479-6229