Nathan Adrian Disarms ‘Missile’ En Route to USA’s First Men’s 100-Meter Gold in Olympics Since 1988

by NESN Staff

August 1, 2012

Nathan Adrian Disarms 'Missile' En Route to USA's First Men's 100-Meter Gold in Olympics Since 1988There was a missile fast approaching the U.S. Swimming contingent, and 23-year-old Nathan Adrian was the only man who could stop the attack.

Adrian, who had won a gold medal in Beijing — although only by way of a Michael Phelps-led 4×100-meter team’s historic comeback, finally earned his first true Olympic medal on Wednesday night in London. And he added a little history of his own.

The overwhelmed youngster won the 100-meter freestyle by the slimmest of margins — just 0.01 seconds — over the Australian world-record holder, James “missile” Magnussen.

Magnussen, who had cruised atop the leaderboard in each of the qualifying heats, was primed for a repeat performance on his destructive world championships performance last summer — where he downed every challenger handedly. But not on Wednesday. Not with Adrian in lane.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Adrian didn’t just defuse the missile in historic 47.52-second fashion, though, rather he reclaimed glory for America after 24 years of 100-meter freestyle disappointment. Adrian’s gold medal gives the U.S. their first top finish in the event since Matt Biondi won it in 1988.

The photo finish will certainly be talked about for years to come, as even Adrian was unsure whether he actually took home the gold.

“At first I looked up and thought I saw a ‘1,’” Adrian said in an interview with ESPN. “Then it was like, ‘Wait a minute. Did I really?'”

The stunned champion finally realized his feat and could barely believe what he had just done, exclaiming “And that’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks… So many emotions. It was incredible.”

The feeling must be that of great pride and accomplishment, but for Team USA it means even more. It’s an unexpected accomplishment and a medal not often seen draped by the colors of Red, White and Blue.

Photo of the Night

President Barack Obama giving the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team a quick phone call. Pretty cool, even after he congratulated them publicly.

Nathan Adrian Disarms 'Missile' En Route to USA's First Men's 100-Meter Gold in Olympics Since 1988Photo via Twitter/@BarackObama

Quote of the Night

Oh Jose, so cautious but aggressive, but cautious…

“If a guy breaks into my home and comes after me but clearly doesn’t have a weapon?and I know I can defend myself?no I won’t shoot him. But I have to make sure he doesn’t have a weapon on him. And that could be a problem in the dark, after I was just startled out of bed. So it’s a very iffy situation.”

— Jose Canseco explaining how he’d react to a burglar breaking into his home

Tweet of the Night

Love is in the air!

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