An eight-time Olympic medalist in the prime of his career, Nathan Adrian received troubling news in December 2018 when he learned that he had testicular cancer.
In the premiere episode of the My New Favorite Olympian podcast (below), Adrian opened up about his diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Now that he's back in action and winning races — look for him at this month's U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials as he attempts to qualify for his fourth Olympic Games — one thing he wants to do is help redefine masculinity and end the stigma around getting checked for testicular cancer.
"We have this idea of masculinity," he said. "There’s this well-written article or a peer-reviewed journal talking about how men connect masculinity to properly functioning genitals, and if you have something wrong down there, you just want to deny it. You don't go to the doctor and ultimately save your life because of it."
That's one of the reasons that Adrian went public with his cancer diagnosis in 2019 — to help encourage other men to go for regular checkups so they can detect it early before it spreads and becomes fatal.
"If I can come out and just prevent at least one case of that happening, then I would be happy to do it."
"My New Favorite Olympian" is the third season of the Sports Uncovered podcast from NBC Sports. New episodes drop every Wednesday and will introduce you to the most inspiring members of Team USA and the issues they champion. The series is hosted by Olympic trailblazer Ibtihaj Muhammad and NBCLX storyteller Ngozi Ekeledo.