Nathan Adrian, 23, of Bremerton, Wash., took home his first individual gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle swim in the London Olympic Games last week, winning by a "fingertip," beating Australian favorite James "The Missile" Magnussen.
The margin of victory—one-hundredth of a second—was the tightest at the London Olympics.
Perhaps the swimmer's work ethic can be traced to his upbringing in a union family. Adrian's father, Jim, is a retired nuclear engineer for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and former president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 12. His mother, Cecilia, is a nurse in the Bremerton school district.
Adrian also received a silver medal as the lead off swimmer for the 4×100-meter freestyle relay team and a gold medal as the anchor for the medley relay team in Michael Phelps’ final swim.
After his heart-racing sprint when he snuck up on Magnussen, Adrian told reporters:
I kind of touched well and [thought], 'Oh, sweet, I've won.' Then there's 10 to 15 seconds, [and] 'Holy crap, this is the Olympics....I've been watching this since I was a kid.
Check back on the AFL-CIO Now blog next Monday for an exclusive interview with Jim and Cecilia Adrian.