Monday, August 8, 2016

Olympics: Asian/American swimmers win medals; Adrian wins two gold, two bronzes

Nathan Adrian, left, anchored the winning relay team.

UPDATED Aug. 13: Earlier versions of this post did not have the complete results of the swimming competition.

IT WAS  a really good Olympics for our Asian/American swimmers, especially for Cal alum Nathan Adrian, who medaled in his four events.

Lia Neal was the first Asian/African/American to win a medal at the Rio Olympics. She earned silver  as a member of the 4x100m freestyle relay team, which came in second to Australia on Saturday (Aug. 6).

For the first time in history, there are two African/American swimmers on the same Olympic team. Simone  Manuel, Neal's teammate at Stanford, also made the Olympic Swim Team.

The second Asian American Olympian to medal was Nathan Adrian, who won a gold medal  Sunday (Aug. 6) as the anchor of the 4x100 relay team. The U.S. avenged a 2012 loss to France, which won the Silver medal.

Adrian completed his 100-meter freestyle leg in 47.64 seconds, good enough to hold off a 47.00 performance by Australia’s James Magnussen — the world champion in the 100 free.

“It’s tough with the world champion chasing you — it’s not a pressure-less situation,” the 32-year-old Adrian told the Seattle Times.

As the competition continued through the first week of the Rio Olympics, Nathan went on to win bronze medals in the 100m individual freestyle and in the 50m freestyle. He capped it off with another gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay in which he anchored, swimming the freestyle leg.

Jay Litherland, a Japanese/American from the University of Georgia, qualifed for the finals in his event, the grueling 400m individual medley where he finished fifth.
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Lia Neal
Event: 4x100 freestyle relay
DOB: Feb. 13, 1995
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Birthplace: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Olympic Experience: Won bronze in the 400m free relay at the 2012 Olympic Games in London
College: Stanford '17
Major: Undeclared
Fun fact: Because of her Chinese/American mother, Lia is fluent in Cantonese
"It's humbling that people would look up to me."

  • Jay Litherland
  • Japanese/American
  • Event: 400m Individual Medley
    DOB: AUGUST 24, 1995
    Hometown: Alpharetta, GA.
    Birthplace: Japan
    Olympic Experience: First Olympics
    College: Georgia '18
    College Major: Business
    Fun Fact: Is a triplet ... Two brothers, Kevin and Mick, also swim for Georgia and he can speak Japanese.
  • Quote: “We (He and his brothers) had a lot of fun when we were little fooling our teachers and other people pretending to be one another.”

Nathan Adrian
Events: 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x100 medley relay.
DOB: 12/7/1988
Birthplace: Bremerton, Wash.
Hometown: Bremerton, Wash.
College: University of California – Berkeley ‘12, 
College Major: Public Health/Pre-Med
Olympic Experience
  • Three-time Olympian (2008, 2012, 2016); Five-time Olympic medalist (4 golds, 1 silver)
  • Rio 2016 Olympic Games, gold (4x100m free)
  • London 2012 Olympic Games, gold (100m free, 4x100m medley); silver (4x100m free)
  • Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, gold (4x100m free)
Fun Fact: Adrian, who says he just came out of a relationship, also said that he's open to a new one "if the right person comes along." And the new Tommy Hilfiger menswear ambassador is not opposed to being asked out himself.
Quote: “I am thrilled to be honored by the Asian Hall of Fame (2014). It has always been important to me to remember both sides of my cultural heritage and hopefully inspire young individuals to be the best at whatever it is they choose to do.”