Even he seems to agree. No doubt with tongue in cheek, Adam, in his Swimming Australia bio (see below), describes himself as a ‘short old man’.
Lismore-born Adam is the oldest member of the Australian swimming squad for the Beijing Olympics, and will be competing in his third Olympic Games after qualifying in a personal-best time of 51.9 seconds for the 100m butterfly.
He learnt to swim at the Goonellabah indoor pool and further honed his skills training under legendary Ballina coach Stan Tilley.
Adam made his debut at the 1993 Pan Pacs in Kobe, and is the only Australian swimmer to have competed at four consecutive Commonwealth Games, winning two gold and three minor medals.
He became a relay specialist, winning an Olympic gold medal — in the 4x100m freestyle at the Sydney Olympics — and a silver in the 4x100m medley, also at Sydney.
But he’s also an outstanding individual competitor. Adam is the only Australian swimmer to have competed at four consecutive Commonwealth Games and has claimed five medals, including two gold.
In Beijing Adam will swim on Thursday evening, August 14, in the 100m butterfly and, if he makes the semis, on Friday at noon (Australian time).
Parents Robert and Sharee, of East Ballina, will not be going to Beijing but will be glued to their TV sets on the Thursday, and hopefully again on Friday when the semis are held.
And if he makes the final, Robert and Sharee will be cheering him on during the noon session on Saturday, August 16.
Here’s some info on Adam, courtesy of Swimming Australia:
OLYMPIC RECORD: Athens 2004 4x100m Medley (9th), 100m Butterfly (20th). Sydney 2000 4x100m Freestyle (1st) *heat swim , 4x100m Medley (2nd) *heat swim. Olympic Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Silver
FAMILY MEMBERS: Wife – Sasha, Sons – Max and Buster.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU? My family.
STUDIES/OCCUPATION: Work for Swimming Australia.
SPORTS BEFORE SWIMMING AND SPORTS YOU PLAY NOW: Before: Soccer, basketball, tennis, squash, water polo and surfing. Now: Swimming.
INTERESTING FACTS PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU:
SUPERSTITIONS: Don’t do team uniform measurements before you make the team.
ULTIMATE RELAXATION: Tropical beach holiday.
SPECIALITY IN THE KITCHEN: Barbecue.
ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Family.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO AWAY FROM SWIMMING: Hang out with family.
FAVOURITE SPORTING TEAM: Manly Sea Eagles.
TV SHOW: Border Security.
BAND/MUSIC: Powder Finger, Rogue Traders, Paul Van Dyk; CDs: Ministry, Café del Mar.
DRINK: Ginger beer.
BEST MATES; Wife; on team Stevo, Klimy, Hacky.
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST ASSET? Consistency.
HAVE ANY OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS REPRESENTED AUSTRALIA OR PLAYED SPORT AT A NATIONAL LEVEL? Father-in-law Olympic Swimmer, 1972 and Mother-in-law Olympic Swimmer in 1968 and Commonwealth Games medallist 1966.
WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE IN YOUR LIFE AND WHY? Wife, gives me motivation to continue swimming.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS? Short, old man.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED? Longest serving team member.
SWIMMING CAREER ULTIMATE GOAL: Continue to improve.
HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED ANY OBSTACLES DURING YOUR SWIMMING CAREER? With a young family turning up to training every day is an obstacle.
WHAT AGE DID YOU START SWIMMING AND WHY? Club at 5 years, first nationals and national team at 17.
FAVOURITE SWIMMER AND WHY? Alex Popov — long-term champion.
FAVOURITE ATHLETE AND WHY? Tiger Woods — long-term champion.
NOTABLE QUOTE: “If it doesn’t kill you it only makes you stronger!”