He is the son of James and Cecilia Adrian; his mother Cecilia is Chinese and was born and raised in Hong Kong. Cecilia is a nurse for the Bremerton school district, and his father James is a retired nuclear engineer for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Adrian has an older sister, Donella, who swam at Arizona State, and an older brother, Justin, who swam at Washington. Adrian started swimming at the age of five because of the influence of his siblings. He was a 2006 graduate, swimming for Bremerton High School where he honed his skills against the likes of Jason Lobdell and Eric Parnell. Adrian is currently a pre-med student at the University of California, Berkeley. At Cal, Adrian is a five-time individual NCAA champion: Winning the 50-yard freestyle in 2009 and 2011 and the 100-yard freestyle in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
In addition to the Olympic gold medal he earned in 2008 by swimming in the preliminary round for the 400m freestyle relay, check out all the career highlights listed on his USA Swimming profile:
Brought home two medals from the 2011 FINA World Championships, including gold in the 4x100m medley relay and bronze in the 4x100m free relay; individually, placed fourth in the 50m free and sixth in the 100m free ... Won the 50m free at the 2011 ConocoPhillips National Championships ... Won two gold medals in the 50y and 100y Fr at the 2011 NCAA Championships ... Won four gold medals at the 2010 MOO Pan Pacific Championships ... Earned two National Titles in the 50m and 100m free at the 2010 National Championships ... Took home two gold medals at the 2009 FINA World Championships in the 400m free relay and the 400m medley relay (pr) won and set American records in the 50y and 100y free at the 2009 NCAA Championships .... won gold at the 2008 Olympics by swimming on the the 400m free-relay (prelims) ... qualified for the 2008 Olympic team by placing forth in the 100m free ... won gold and set a meet record in the 100m free at the 2008 Short Course World Championships ... member of the 400m free-relay team that broke the world record at 2008 Short Course Worlds.
As if winning the Indy Grand Prix in the 100 Free weren't enough, Adrian did so in a ripped suit. A RIPPED suit, ladies and gentlemen, and he still beat Michael Phelps. Check out the footage here:
A swimmer and a scholar, it's pretty hard to stump Nathan Adrian (and he gives a shout-out to fellow Golden Bear Aaron Rodgers):
But, Adrian is headed to London for swimming, not trivia. The Seattle Times reports:
Adrian qualified for the Olympics for the second time by winning the 100-meter freestyle Friday night at CenturyLink Center in the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
After Thursday's preliminaries, Adrian figured it would take "a high 47" to win the race, but nobody got under the 48-second mark in the final. Adrian's winning time in a field packed with the heavyweights was 48.10 seconds.
Remember to cheer on "Bok Choy" (a nod to his Asian-American heritage) by tweeting @Nathangadrian and leaving comments on this YouTube video: