It was the sixth day of the London Olympic Games and Jim and Cecilia Adrian still hadn’t seen their son Nathan for whom they traveled 4,800 miles to watch swim for the United States. Nathan, 23, was competing in his second Olympics. Nathan and his mom were exchanging text messages, but the two hadn’t spoken in-person in days. While waiting to watch the 100-meter freestyle race on Aug. 1, the Adrians chatted with some Australian spectators who were on their way to see a water polo match in the Olympic Park.
“They wished Nathan good luck,” says Jim. “But not enough to come in first…at that point, everyone was predicting [James] Magnussen would win.”
In a dramatic, heart-racing sprint, Nathan, of Bremerton, Wash., took home his first individual gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle swim, beating Magnussen by one-hundredth of a second.