By Ed Diokno
Nathan Adrian, whose killer smile and 6-pack abs are drawing a lot of attention from his growing legion of fans on the internet, has won the most Olympic medals for an Asian American athlete in this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Chinese American swimmer won four medals in Rio, including two golds in the 4×100 freestyle relay and the 4×100 medley relay. Both wins contributed to Michael Phelps’ historic run for gold which now stand at 23. Adrian also won two bronze medals for the freestyle at 50m and 100m.
“More special being with Ryan, setting that world record, and Michael being his last race, I get to take credit for a small part of that,” he explained.
Here’s a quirky factoid: Adrian’s time for the final leg of that race was 47 seconds flat; .58 seconds faster than the gold medal time for the 100m in which Adrian won a Bronze. That says a lot about the vagaries of swimming.
If he wants, blessed with good looks and his lean swimmer’s body on his 6’6″ frame, he could certainly make a living as a model — and that suits his sponsors Tommy HIllfiger and Speedo just fine.
Here’s a clue: Nathan will be 31 in 2020 when the Games will be in Tokyo – the same age that Michael Phelps is this year.
All told, that makes eight Olympic medals for Adrian, starting in 2008, when he got his first medal as a member of the 4x100m relay at the age of 15.
So what’s next for the 27-year old, who was an honors student majoring in public health at UC Berkeley? His bio says he aspires to become an MD.