Games & medals
Rio de Janeiro 2016 2016
|#6||Swimming||100 metres Freestyle|
|#1||Swimming||4 x 100 metres Freestyle Relay|
|#1||Swimming||4 x 100 metres Medley Relay|
It’s not really about counting medals for me. It’s just about getting better every day.”
Number of medals
2 Olympic medals
1 Olympic Games
Caeleb DRESSEL biography
It is unlikely that any swimmer will ever surpass Michael Phelps’ astonishing record of 23 Olympic gold medals – but Dressel looks like the aquatic star most likely to be able to accumulate large amounts of medals at summer Games, Phelps-style. The Florida-born 23-year-old, like Phelps, can swim freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly to the highest of standards – a versatility that means he can potentially threaten in seven or more races this summer.
Dressel proved this at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, where he swept the board and grabbed seven gold medals. Looking utterly dominant, he won the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley, 4x100m mixed freestyle and the 4x100m mixed medley. He became the first man ever to get three golds in one night at that meeting.
And in 2019 he got six golds: 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 100m 50m butterfly and the 4x100m freestyle. In the 100m butterfly at that meeting, he broke the world record for the 100m butterfly; he also has the 50m freestyle world record. With an extremely strong relay team to help him out, Dressel shows the ability to recover fast between races and go again.
All these achievements have led to inevitable talk about whether Dressel might try to break Phelps’ record of eight golds at one Games – but the swimmer is playing down such talk. “That’s not why I’m in this sport, it’s not to beat Michael, It’s not to go faster than Michael,” he said recently.
Dressed is described by his coach, Gregg Troy, as “a thinker”. He says: “I can get the physical exercise done with practice and staying in shape, but you’ve got to sharpen the mental side. I like to learn. The good thing about true perseverance is that it can’t be stopped by anything besides death.”
But while his mental game is undoubtedly strong, it is raw power that sets Dressel apart, according to legendary swimming coach Bob Bowman. He’s such a dynamic swimmer,” says Bowman. “The way he jumps off the block. The race is over when he hits the water. He’s so strong. I think of power when I see him swim.”
While the Phelps comparisons are inevitable, Dressel is undoubtedly his own man. The limelight of Tokyo 2020 awaits.