Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Adrian Announces He Has Testicular Cancer

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Three-time Olympian and 2012 100 freestyle gold medalist Nathan Adrian announced via social media on Thursday he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He wrote a lengthy post on Instagram that read:

“Life, like swimming the 100 free, can come at you hard and fast as you can’t always see who, or what, may be chasing you down. Recently, I went to the doctor as something didn’t seem quite right. At the very least, I still needed to get my flu shot so it couldn’t hurt.

“After a few tests and visits with a specialist, I unfortunately learned that I have Testicular Cancer. On the bright side, we caught it early, I have already started treatment and the prognosis is good. I will be back in the water in a few short weeks with my sights fully set on Tokyo!

“Along the way, I hope to share my journey in an effort to help break the stigma of discussing men’s health issues. I’ve realized that too often we tend to avoid these important topics, ignore the potential warning signs, and put off getting the medical help that we may need.

“As I told my family, I’ll be putting my public health degree to work a little sooner than I planned! But in all seriousness, I am keeping a positive attitude as cases such as mine are curable.

“I am extremely grateful for my family and friends, especially my wife, for their love and support. I am scheduled for surgery early next week and will provide an update soon.”

Nathan Adrian, 30, was set to represent the United States at the Pan American Games in August 2019, and swim the 50 and 100 free. He was also qualified to swim the 4×100 free relay for the United States at the World Championships later this summer as it would have been his sixth team, the most of anyone on the roster.

Adrian has not indicated if he will have to withdraw from both meets. USA Swimming officials said they will discuss that with Adrian if necessary. As for now, they are just concerned about the health of one of their athletes.

“My heart goes out to Nathan,” said USA Swimming National Team Managing Director Lindsay Mintenko. “Even at a time like this, Nathan is tackling his testicular cancer with his usual fearless and determined personality. Our thoughts are on his immediate health and when the time is right we will discuss Nathan’s upcoming schedule with him. He has indicated that he is hopeful to compete in international competition this summer and we will do everything we can to help him in his recovery and to reach his goal.”

Notably, 2008 American Olympian Eric Shanteau was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer shortly before the 2008 Olympic Trials. He still made the team in the 200 breast, however he had to get cleared by doctors shortly before the Games to determine if he was going to be able to swim in Beijing.

Shanteau ended up placing tenth in the 200 breast semi-finals and did not advance to the final. He underwent surgery shortly after the Olympics.

Afterwards, Shanteau had the best year of his career in 2009 when he broke the American Records in both the 100 and 200 breast, winning a World Championship silver medal in the latter. He placed fourth in the 100 breast final at those Worlds and also won a bronze in the 200 IM.

Shanteau was officially in remission in 2013 after being five years cancer free.


  1. Karen A Hayes

    Good luck to Nathan, glad he caught it early and that the prognosis is good.

  2. Kayla Simon

    We love you, Nathan, and we are here for you!

  3. Ross Gardner

    Alex Semchenko Chris Rousseau

  4. Cale Walton

    Jake Goergen this is rough

  5. Kelvin Ho

    Pray for his full recovery and get ready for Tokyo 2020. Go Adrian !

  6. Marina Trad

    The very best wishes for recovery!

  7. Ever Huerta

    Get well Nathan! 🙏🏻

  8. Ileana Mares

    Prayers for u Nathan! GO NATHAN!! 🙏💪

  9. Laurie Boardman


  10. Katie Kuhl

    Michelle Walters Kuhl

  11. Jeanne Jones

    WOW!!!!! But YOU are a champion, and you will beat this too and you WILL WIN this battle! God speed and many thoughts and prayers are coming your way.

  12. Laura Holtsford Anderson

    Prayers for a full recovery & quickly getting back to what he loves most 🙏🏼.

  13. Alem Melaku

    Speedy recovery🙏🏼🙏🏼

  14. Ann M Cooper

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery! 🏊‍♂️🙌🏻

  15. CM O

    Carly O’Loughlin

  16. John O

    Glad he caught it early. Good luck and thank you!!

    • Sydney Ng

      Sara Naeem 😩😩

  17. Linda Marino

    Good it was diagnosed early and praying for a speedy recovery.

    • Lena Hayakawa

      Daniel Yuen-Schat glad they caught it early on though

    • Daniel Yuen-Schat

      TRUE!! He’ll be able to compete 2020 I think
      Lena Hayakawa

  18. Jennifer Loveland Zearley

    Best wishes! You for this. Strength to you and your family during this rough time.

  19. Glenna Moak

    Best wishes on your full recovery. You got this.

  20. Luke Plese

    Brittany, he needs you.

  21. Janice Hoffart

    Prayers for you Nathan. You are a champion!

  22. Thomas Inwood

    Best of luck – curable Go for it and get better

  23. Tim Welsh

    Good luck, Nathan. Prayers headed your way.

  24. Vicki Props Lawhorn

    With the athletic stamina and health you have, you can fight this! Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  25. Stephanie Ellen


  26. Joanna Janicki Shadeck

    Sending you strong healthy vibes!!! Stay positive and fight hard, like you do in the 100 free!!!!

  27. Tamara Kluger Jacobson

    Praying that it will be a quick, uneventful recovery. We are pulling for you!

  28. Gail LaBiche Gunnels

    Praying also for a quick recovery. There has been a lot of new discoveries in treatments.

  29. Wendy Zamora

    Sandy Zamora Gaby Lizette Wright Karina Alex Zamora 😢

    • Sandy Zamora

      Wendy Zamora yes I tagged you on his story in insta 😕

  30. Katy Dean

    Best wishes! Praying for you.

  31. Kelley Harman O

    Prayers for a speedy and easy recovery from our swim family to you and your family.

  32. Melanie Loo

    Praying for a speedy recovery. May the Lord protect and be with you.🙏🙏🙏

    • Megan Frese

      Kristi Rogers Marley i saw 😞

  33. Jeff Eorio

    Be strong and you will conquer!

  34. Darnell James

    You’re a beast in the water and you’ll be a beast beating this! Get after it!

  35. Angie Chu

    Ouch 🙏😅㊗️

  36. Lộc Phạm

    Be strong to fight it like the way u won water races 🙏🙏

  37. Michal Blazic

    As a 2-time CANCERvivor, I can tell you try to stay strong and keep your head up. God created cancer, he can eradicate it at will and is no respector of person. You and your family are in my most sincerest prayers for complete healing and deliverance. BTW, you are my absolute favorite swimmer and I look forward to seeing you compete many more years. God bless!

  38. Beth Scott

    From one Cancer survivor to one soon to be one! You are in my prayers Nathan. This is one tough competitor but if anyone can beat cancer is a swimmer! We are the toughest SOB’s out there!

  39. Martha Phelan

    Sending Positive vibes and prayers your way…thank you for sharing; early detection so important…I am a huge fan!👊🏻

  40. Luanne Zuniga Aakhus

    Heal fast and get back in the water ASAP!!! You are so inspiring to all athletes! Prayers for healing!

  41. Susan Dally

    Best of luck ..love watching you win Gold for the USA

  42. avatar
    Vicky Mathis

    Prayers Nathan! You got this!!

  43. Betsy Luminais

    Praying for uncomplicated surgery and quick recovery! If anyone can get thru this Nathan can!

  44. Gene Peters

    Prayers for a full speedy recovery !!!

  45. Shelly Pollock

    Sending thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery

  46. Hannah Sawyer

    You will beat this Nathan!!!! You are strong!!! Y’all in my prayers!

  47. Gabriel Grauwde

    Rafael Van Leeuwaarde Michael Grauwde Quentin Cooper

    • Vim Arachchige

      don’t think it can kill you, but still pretty shitty

  48. Bill Thompson

    It’s going to be alright. Go Bears. Say prayers for it to be so.

  49. Bryce Whitehead

    I’m sorry Nathan. I wonder if the tightness of the suit has any affect on this

  50. Judy Puopolo

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  51. Emma Carew

    My prayers go out to Nathan and his family. Best wishes for him and the hopes he will get well as soon as possible!❤️

    • Sasha Alcon

      Lauren Damian right?! But generally has a good prognosis

    • Lauren Damian

      Sasha Alcon yup, I read that. Just shocked!

  52. avatar
    Anna Sell

    My son, high school swimmer and college water polo player, was diagnosed at age 22-after surgery and chemo-is 2 years in remission. Thank goodness he wasn’t shy and asked us about his symptoms. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men 15-30 years of age and should do a self exam like women do for breast cancer every month. I wish you a speedy recovery and please encourage young men to do a self exam

  53. Joanne Newton

    You are a champion through and through and I know you are going to kick cancers ass!!!! Sending you healing vibes!!!!

    • Elliot Cha

      Before even seeing the post, I’m gonna guess it’s about Nathan Adrian and his cancer 😕

  54. Debbie Sheehan

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

  55. Nic Olas


  56. Helen Oleary

    Get well Nathan hope u will get back into the water from Helen oleary in Ireland

  57. Brenda Erdman

    I met you at the Olympic trials. You talked with my swimmers and signed autographs. You have high character and demonstrated that at the trials. We are all thinking of you and wish you all the best in this cancer sucks journey. Been there myself. Lean on your friends and family. We love you!

  58. Carole Anne

    Praying for your recovery! ❤️

  59. Joe Johnson

    Fight on my man. Godspeed

  60. Kelly Ferguson-Mojdeh

    Sending prayers for a quick recovery and may you
    come back not only kicking cancer ass, but come back stronger and faster swimmer than you could ever thought you could be!! Thank god you listened to your inner voice and visited you doctor!God bless!

  61. Jo Banham

    Stay brave, stay strong and you will beat this too…..

  62. Caroline B Horton

    As it was caught early i pray for your speedy recovery, 28yrs ago my children’s father was diagnosed with the same and survived 🙏

  63. Donna Neal Wellford

    Nathan you will be another Champion through a different race!!! We all love you and are with you through this!!!

  64. Cay Andres