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The Definition of a Champion
How does Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian want his legacy to be defined?
“I haven’t given a ton of thought to what I want my legacy to be, because I consider myself a young, up-and-coming athlete,” says the 23-year-old 100-meter freestyle swimmer. “I guess what I want it to be is a legacy of a couple of good medals, be it at the Olympics or world championships.”
"Good" medals? Surely he meant "gold," right?
Indeed, you read (and heard in the video above) correctly: Adrian isn’t mining for gold and gold only.
In fact, Adrian already owns ten gold medals from major international competition—at the Olympics, the World Championships and the Pan Pacific Championships. However, the one he claimed as a member of the U.S. 4x100 freestyle relay team at the 2008 Games in Beijing was a bittersweet experience for the then-19-year-old. Adrian competed in the final heat of the 4x100 event, but later had to watch from the stands as the American relay team, starring Michael Phelps, broke the world-record to capture Olympic gold.
One year later, Adrian anchored the gold-medal winning 4x100 freestyle relay team at the 2009 World Championships, where he also earned gold as a member of the 4x100 medley relay team.
After winning the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, the five-time NCAA champion from Cal-Berkeley is in prime position to win an individual medal on the greatest of international stages.
“The hard work that we have done is behind us now,” Adrian says. “Right now, I’m going to rest, recover and allow my body to regenerate from everything I’ve done the last six to eight months.
The formula for winning gold in London, according to Adrian, is “going out there, swimming fast, and doing it the right way.
"Nothing is given to you," he says. "There is still a lot left that I need to do right in order to have a good meet."
Let the legacy begin.