Michael Phelps is often associated with USA Swimming, but now Caeleb Dressel is leading the way for the team as they prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I take a lot of pride in the title that I’m carrying as team captain and I want to make sure that I do it correctly. I want to do my part for Team USA and for the other people next door," said Dressel.
The freestyle and butterfly swimmer won two Olympic gold medals in Rio in 2016. He currently holds the world records in the 100-meter butterfly (short and long course), 50-meter freestyle (short course), and 100-meter individual medley (short course).
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Dressel says five-time Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian set him up for his success in the pool by taking him under his wing.
“This is a true leader. I don’t dislike this guy. I want to be like this guy and he left behind some figuratively and literally some very big shoes to fill," said Dressel.
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Before he started swimming in Olympic-size pools, Dressel began in community pools in Florida. He grew up in Orange Park and Green Cove Springs and competed for the Gators at the University of Florida.
As he prepares for his second Olympics after a pandemic delay and without fans, Dressel is focused on speed and continuing the 400 medley winning streak for the U.S.
“Right now the goal for everyone on this team is to swim fast. Control what we can control and do so towards that goal. I fully trust the team that we have here and Team USA’s staff that they’re going to take care of us and that we’re going to be safe. I know there are things going on and I’m aware of them but I don’t want that to zap energy from me because the goal at the end for me is to swim fast and represent the U.S. the best I can," said Dressel.