Olympics stars fade from memory? Not in Bremerton

The Rio Olympics are over, just 10 days behind us. Yet I’ll wager that you’ve already forgotten the names of some of America’s biggest winners.
     Aside from household names like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Simone Biles, and Ryan Lochte, that is.
     Quick: Who’s the first African-American U.S. female to ever win swimming gold, in the 100-meter freestyle? (Simone Manuel)
     Can you name any of the four U.S. women track stars who won gold in their relay events? (Allyson Felix, English Gardner, Tianna Bartoletta, Tori Bowie)
     Who is the men’s decathlon winner, from Portland? (Ashton Eaton)
     And who is the Bremerton swimmer who won two gold medals?
     Perhaps you recall he’s Nathan Adrian, who teamed with the amazing Phelps in the freestyle and medley relays, and who also won two bronze medals in individual events.
     For sure, people in Kitsap County know Adrian. On Monday, 1,000 fans cheered him at a rally at Bremerton High School, where Adrian graduated in 2006.
     “He's humble, and that's what I love about him," one admirer told the Kitsap Sun.
     My wife and I noted during the closing ceremonies how the Olympics grab our attention for two weeks every few years, and how for a while the athletes are celebrities.
     Then within several days, except for a few high-profile stars, those celebrated athletes fade into obscurity. That’s how it is in our house, anyway, and it’s kind of sad. Most of those athletes are everyday people who toil at regular jobs for modest pay, just like many of us.
    But in Bremerton, Adrian – also an Olympics gold-medal winner in 2008 and 2012 – is remembered and revered.

by  Jon Osterberg

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