NATHAN ADRIAN – SWIMMING
Nathan Adrian began swimming competitively at age 5 and finished competitive racing over 25 years later with a career highlight of having his daughter being able to watch him. Along the way, he advanced from high school state champion to a powerful 6-foot-6 Olympic gold medalist.
After setting a state record for Bremerton High winning the 200 freestyle state championship as a senior, Adrian moved on to a decorated career at the University of California Berkeley in 2006.
At Cal, Adrian helped lead the Golden Bears to the NCAA team championship in 2011. He won five individual NCAA championships (50-yard freestyle in 2009 and 2010 and the 100-yard freestyle in 2009, 2010 and 2011) and five NCAA championships in relays with his Cal teammates. In 2011, the College Swim Coaches Association of America named Adrian the national swimmer of the year. In his college career, he set Pac-10 records in the 50, 100 and 200 free individual events and the 200 and 400 freestyle and medley relays.
While at Cal, Adrian’s freestyle speed earned him a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. He earned a relay gold medal as a competitor in the preliminary rounds for the winning U.S. team but did not swim in the finals of the event. He frequently earned podium finishes at national and world championship events over the few years leading up to his most prominent success at the 2012 London Olympics.
In London, he won the 100-meter freestyle gold in a personal best of 47.52 seconds, edging the favorite, James Magnussen of Australia by 1/100th of a second. He added a gold in the 4×100 medley relay and a silver in the 4×100 free relay in London. The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro capped his Olympic experience with two more relay golds (4×100 free and 4×100 medley – Olympic record 3:27.95) and two bronze medals in individual events (50 free and 100 free).
After overcoming testicular cancer, Adrian competed at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials hoping to earn a spot on the U.S. team. He finished short but was strong enough at the trials to earn a spot on the 2021-22 U.S. National squad, the 14th year he represented the team.
TIM LINCECUM – BASEBALL
Tim Lincecum so far outpitched what most would expect from his slight 5-foot-11, 170-pound frame that he became known as “the Freak”. With an unusually long stride from his wind-up and lightning in his right arm, he went from Issaquah’s Liberty High School to University of Washington standout and eventual back-to-back Cy Young Award.
At the University of Washington, Lincecum was the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year in 2004 and 2006. His 2006 season, going 12-4 with a 1.94 earned-run average and 199 strikeouts in 125 1/3 innings, earned him the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s best amateur player.
Lincecum was selected 10th overall in the 2006 Major League Baseball draft by the San Francisco Giants. By 2007, he was in the Majors and by 2008 he was among the best pitchers in the game, baffling hitters with his unusual delivery and moving fastball in the high 90s. He rapidly became a sensation and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated July 7, 2008 when he was selected to his first All-Star Game. He finished the 2008 season 18-5 with 265 strikeouts, an SF Giants record. He received 23 of 32 first-place votes to easily earn the N.L. Cy Young Award. He followed up the breakthrough season by also winning the 2009 Cy Young Award.
In 2010, he led the N.L. in strikeouts for the third consecutive season and again was an All-Star. More importantly, Lincecum was the winning pitcher in the final game of the World Series, ending a 56-year draught for the Giants. The Giants made it back to the World Series in 2012, winning again. This time, Lincecum pitched in relief as his effectiveness began to fade.
In 2013, he moved back into a starting role and pitched a no-hitter against the Padres in San Diego. By the end of the season, he had recorded 1,510 strikeouts over his first seven seasons, third-most ever behind Tom Seaver and Bert Blyleven. On June 25, 2014, he pitched another no-hitter, also against the Padres. He pitched once in relief in the 2014 World Series retiring all five batters he faced as the Giants won their third title in five years.
He is one of only three pitchers in MLB history (Justin Verlander and Sandy Koufax) to win multiple Cy Young Awards, pitch at least two no-hitters, win at least two World Series and have multiple All-Star selections.
Lincecum’s career faded fast due to injuries but his peak was as good as many of the best pitchers ever. He finished with an MLB career 110-89 win-loss record and a 3.74 earned-run average.
APOLO OHNO – SPEED SKATING
When he was 12 watching the 1994 Winter Olympics with his father in Federal Way, Apolo Ohno’s interest was drawn to short-track speed skating, something he had never done. Within two years he was training full-time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York. At 14, he became the youngest person to win a U.S. national title, the 1500 meters. That set him on a path to world-class competition that saw him earn more Olympic medals (8) than any other U.S. winter sports athlete. At World Championship events, Ohno won another 21 medals, including eight golds. He was the overall, combined-events World Champion in 2008.
For his efforts, Ohno was inducted in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the International Sports Hall of Fame. He became a global sensation over the course of three Olympics in the sometimes wild, crash-prone short-track events.
In the 2002 Games at Salt Lake, he won gold in the 1,500 meters on the short oval and silver in the 1,000 meters. The 2006 Games in Turin, Italy included a gold medal in the 500 meters, bronze in the 1,000 and bronze in the 5,000 team relay. The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. were highlighted by three more Ohno medals, silver in the 1,500, bronze in the 1,000 and bronze in the 5,000 relay.
At the peak of his fame in 2010, Alaska Airlines became his primary sponsor and had a Boeing 737 with his image on the side. After his competitive career closed, Ohno worked for NBC as a commentator at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics. He is also known for winning season 4 (2007) of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and guest spots on several TV series.
KATE STARBIRD – BASKETBALL
When her father Edward, a U.S. Army Colonel, was stationed at Fort Lewis, a young Kate Starbird played pick-up basketball on base against mostly men. Her skillset grew quickly, as did her height. At Lakes High School in Lakewood, she was a 6-foot-2 ball handler, shooter, post player, whatever she needed to be. When she graduated in 1993, she was the Washington state career scoring leader (2,753 points in 104 games, 26.5 avg) and a first-team Parade All-American selection. In her senior season for the Lancers, she averaged 29.76 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 4 blocks per game.
Starbird’s ability drew the attention of one of the top college programs in the country at Stanford. By her senior year, she became the Naismith National Player of the Year in 1997.
Up through her time at Stanford, she was one of just three Stanford multi-year All-Americans, earning spots on the Kodak All-America Teams in 1996 and 1997. She led the Cardinal to three consecutive Pac-10 titles (1995-97), a 118-14 career record and three Final Four appearances. By the end of her Stanford career, Starbird held Stanford’s career, single-season and single-game scoring records with 2,215 career points, 753 points in 1996-97 and 44 points in a Jan. 13, 1996 contest against USC.
Following college, Starbird moved on to the ABL, where she played for the Seattle Reign. From there, Starbird continued her career in the WNBA, playing for the Sacramento Monarchs (1999), Utah Starzz (2000-02), Seattle Storm (2002) and Indiana Fever (2004).
She was inducted in the Stanford Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2014. Post-basketball, she became a professor at the University of Washington.
JOE MARTIN – BASEBALL MANAGER
Joe started life in 1908 as Joseph Martinolich and ended it as “Mr. Baseball of Bellingham”. He shortened the family name in the 1940s when he had established himself as the baseball identity of Bellingham. An outstanding athlete in football, basketball and baseball at Whatcom High School, he later played football on the freshmen team at Washington State College.
Returning to Bellingham, Joe played baseball throughout the 1930s in the city league. In 1942, he was named player/manager of the semi-pro Bellingham Bells. He managed the Bells for 31 years during which they won 20 Washington state championships and represented the state numerous years in the National Baseball Congress (NBC) semi-pro tournament in Wichita, Kansas. During the 1960s, the Bells were often the No. 1-seed in the country at the NBC tournament. The National Baseball Congress named Martin “Sportsman of the Decade” for the 1950s and in 1963 he was named Manager of the Year by the NBC. In 2023, he has inducted into the National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame.
In 1973, with a group of backers, Martin brought professional baseball to Bellingham signing an agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers to bring their Class A short-season team to Bellingham. The Dodgers were replaced by the Seattle Mariners who decided in 1977 to make Bellingham their Class A team referred to as the Baby M’s. Martin served as general manager for both the Dodgers and the Mariners Bellingham teams.
Besides baseball, Joe refereed high school and college football and basketball until he was 65. Before his death in 1981 from cancer, the City of Bellingham renamed the civic baseball complex Joe Martin Field. A bronze plaque at the stadium reads: “TO WHOM ALL FANS ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL” Joe A. Martin 1908-1981 “MR. BASEBALL”.