Adrian is a British former swimmer who dominated British swimming in the late 1980s.
In 1980 he was selected for the England Junior team and broke the national junior records for both the 100 m and 200 m breaststroke. When he was 15, he was chosen for the national senior squad, number two to the Olympic gold medallist, Duncan Goodhew.
Since then Adrian, a former pupil of Bradford Grammar School, has translated his sporting success to a successful career in the business world, as Managing Director of Lane 4 Management Group.
Adrian became Britain’s number one breaststroke swimmer in 1981 when he won a bronze medal for the 200 m in the European Championships in Yugoslavia. The following year he gained his first taste of gold after winning the 100 m breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and he won the 100 m breaststroke gold medal at the Seoul Olympics.
At the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, Adrian was tipped for a gold medal in the 100 m breaststroke but missed out completely coming fourth. He said “I was devastated. After the Games I convinced myself that I had no talent and that I was never going to win again. I didn’t want anything to do with swimming”.
He celebrated his comeback in April 1985 when he broke the World Short Course record for the 100 m, and went on to win the European Championship gold medal in Bulgaria. However, in 1986, Adrian suffered another setback to rank with his Olympic debacle, finishing first in the World Championships in Madrid but being disqualified for an illegal turn.
In 1987, putting the Madrid episode behind him, Adrian became the first person in history to swim 100 m breaststroke in under a minute, out-swimming the former world record holder, Rolf Beab, in front of a partisan German crowd in Bonn, in a time of 59.75 s.
Adrian started Olympic year, 1988, on the right note by winning the 100 m breaststroke at the US Indoor Championships to confirm his status as number one in the world. He is now a swimming commentator for BBC television.