After beginning his career in the shadow of swimming icons like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian is Team USA’s veteran in the pool heading into the Tokyo Olympics. His rise to the top of the sport has not come without its share of challenges, however.
Adrian revealed in 2019 that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer, but that he had a favorable prognosis. In May that year, he received two surgeries and returned to competition.
Adrian only had to spend two weeks out of the pool, but it was the longest stretch of his career and has had quite an impact on his ability to compete until recently.
I have to be much more cognizant about each and every movement to relearn it,
Adrian told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The delay of this summer’s Games certainly has been a benefit to Adrian. In fact, he was just able to take a major step this month, winning his first event since the diagnosis, the men’s 100-meter freestyle to close out a Pro Series stop in Mission Viejo, California.
Coming in here pretty beat up [from training], going 48, that’s much more level with our expectations and where we want to be
Adrian is now full-steam ahead to June’s U.S. Olympic Trials, trying to make his fourth straight Team USA squad and add to a count of eight Olympic medals. He is currently ranked fourth in the 100m free and six in the 50m free.
Adrian, as always, feels confident about his chances in the pool
“The 100m free has always been my baby,” said Adrian. “The 50m free just kind of comes along with the territory. I’ll probably focus on the 50m free a little bit more in the true twilight of my career because I think you can get away with a little less man hours in the pool.”
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