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Adrian is all smiles at street-naming ceremony
The Stewart kids all brought swim caps.
Tyler, 8, and Curtis, 6, brought their bright orange Olympic Aquatic Center caps while Emerson, 4, not quite yet old enough to join the big leagues, brought her bright green “friendly-monster” cap.
Smiling, Olympic Gold medalist Nathan Adrian signed them all, telling Emerson that he particularly liked hers.
Another Bremerton youngster, 4-year-old Marcus Jayden, brought Adrian a handmade neon green sign with a shaky handwritten “Way to go Nathan” note written across the poster board. Adrian began to sign it, but was told that Marcus wanted him to have it. Adrian again smiled, said thank you and gave Marcus a high five. Oh, yeah, Marcus got an autograph to take home, too.
The Stewart kids, Marcus and hundreds of others of all ages came out Monday for the official unveiling of Nathan Adrian Drive, right across the street from the Bremerton Family YMCA and the Jarstad Pool where Adrian’s swimming career kicked-off.
The City of Bremerton also declared Aug. 27 Nathan Adrian Day.
Following the Bremerton High School Band performance of his high school fight song, Adrian got a chance to hold his own copy of the new street sign bearing his name. Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent told him it was now his street.
“Because of your drive to win at the Olympics, this is your street,” Lent said as she handed him the sign bearing his name. Adrian hoisted it over his head.
“This is really cool,” he said.
Adrian spoke briefly, telling the crowd that he’d rather spend time meeting them, take pictures and sign stuff.
“Thank you to you all for your support, you really make me want to go back there and put Bremerton back on the map,” he said. “So, here’s to four years from now.”
Bremerton School District Superintendent Lester Flip Herndon spoke briefly at the event and noted that in addition to his ability to swim fast, Adrian was an excellent student. Adrian graduated from the University of California, Berkley with honors, was a PAC 10 scholar-athlete of the year and racked up several other academic accolades, Herndon said.
“But before he was a Cal Bear, he was a Bremerton Knight,” Herndon said, before sharing a story about Adrian making up some missed gym classes due to traveling for competitions.
Adrian’s mom, Cecilia, called the gym teacher and asked about ways that Nathan could make up the missed classes. The teacher insisted that her son’s grade would still be an A, dropping from a 100 percent to 96 percent, and that making up the missed classes wouldn’t be necessary.
Mrs. Adrian, though, wouldn’t take no for an answer because her son was “no different than other students” and Nathan showed up at 6 a.m. for two weeks straight to do weight training. Herndon relayed that Nathan showed up smiling, left with sweat on his brow and big offered a big thank you to his teacher for helping make him a better student athlete.