Nathan Adrian was one of the favorites going into the 2012 100 meter freestyle final, but there was going to be one big impediment to winning gold. That would be James Magnussen of Australia, otherwise known as The Missile. Magnussen posted one of the four fastest times in 100 meter freestyle history at 47.10 seconds, and Adrian of Bremeton was going to have to swim the race of his life to get gold.
Adrian did what he needed to do. He was third after the turn at the 50 meter final, but wasn't too far off the pace (just under a tenth of the second behind everyone else). Then Magnussen looked like he was going to take control as he got into first place with 25 meters to go, but Adrian kept pace. Then with a last gasp heave, Adrian managed to lunge for the wall just 0.01 seconds ahead of Magnussen. It's Adrian's first individual gold and his first Olympic medal.
Check out SI's complete medal tracker here.