Nathan Adrian honored with Golden Goggles award after comeback from cancer diagnosis

Bremerton Olympic champion Nathan Adrian won the Perseverance Award at the Golden Goggles ceremony last week.

Adrian, an eight-time Olympic champion, received the honor in Los Angeles Nov. 24. The Golden Goggles are the Emmy awards for professional swimming and are presented by the USA Swimming Foundation. He received the award by overcoming a positive testicular cancer diagnosis in 2018 and returned to competitive swimming in May. 

Adrian and his wife, Hallie, reside in the Bay Area where he trains and competes for the Los Angeles Current of the International Swimming League and is vying for a spot on Team USA for his fourth Olympics in 2020. The couple had been married just three months before his cancer diagnosis.

Adrian, a USA Swimming Foundation ambassador, began his acceptance speech by encouraging parents to enroll their children in swim lessons but also implored men to be proactive in their health.

“To all you men out there, go see the doctor,” Adrian said. “To all the wives of the wonderful men out there, make the appointment and put it on his calendar.”

Adrian also took the time to thank his wife, his parents, Jim and Cecelia Adrian, and his coach, Dave Durden.

“If there was a book on how to respond to something like this in the perfect way, and support and love your husband in every way, you killed it, so thank you,” he said, pointing to Hallie. “To my mom and dad, I can’t imagine what it’s like to receive a phone call from your baby boy, the one who is still swimming and doing something that’s supposed to be super healthy, and hearing that he has cancer. Thank you, mom and dad.”

Adrian also thanked his teammates, including Ryan Murphy who wore Adrian’s cap at the TYR Pro Swim Series.

“That meant a lot to me,” he said. “It came at a time when I wanted to be there with you guys, and it felt like I was there. Thank you all.”

This summer Adrian helped the men’s 400 relay earn a gold medal at the World Championships in South Korea (just seven months removed from his surgery and treatment) and won gold at the Pan American games in the mixed relay, silver in the 50-meter freestyle and 100 freestyle.

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