Caeleb Dressel is a breakout American star of the Tokyo Olympics.
He wins gold medals with ease, while showing off his freakish athletic skills. Swim coaches often say their best guys usually aren’t coordinated out of the water. But Dressel, the former Florida Gator, is the exception.
Check out his amazing vertical. He showed off his hops while warming up his muscles Friday night (Saturday morning in Tokyo). He was on deck, readying for one of the three events he raced that session.
The Tokyo Olympics tweeted that “Caeleb’s got mad hops. A 43-inch vertical!”
Dressel Hasn’t Shown Off Extra Skills at Tokyo Olympics
Dressel isn’t built like a typical elite swimmer. Those guys tower over everyone and look like they all could play small forward in the NBA. Dressel is listed as 6-foot-2, maybe 6-3. To mix up our sports metaphors, put some pads on Dressel and he’d look like a run-stuffing strong safety.
He usually puts on more of a show at swim events with his extra athletic skills. He loves to jump on deck with his NFL-worthy vertical. But he’s curtailed that at the Tokyo Olympics. And he also likes to vault himself out of the water and land, feet first, on deck. But he hasn’t done that, either.
“Trying to conserve as much energy as I can,” Dressel told reporters. “I haven’t even jumped out of the pool yet. I’ve been taking the ladder. Every time I can get a little edge, I’ll take it.”
If Dressel Wins 50, Put His Name Next to Phelps, Spitz
Call Dressel’s week at the Tokyo Olympics swimming’s version of a marathon. On Friday, Dressel broke a world record in winning gold in the 100-meter butterfly. He swam a semifinal for the 50 free and qualified as the top seed for Saturday’s finals. Then he anchored the mixed 4 X 100 medley relay.
“I wouldn’t want that every day,” Dressel said of swimming a rare three events in one night, “but I can handle it for a day or two.”
Counting prelims, Dressel has swum 10 times. He’ll have 11 and 12 tonight (Sunday at the Tokyo Olympics) to cap off his week. Dressel will try for the 50 free gold, then will anchor the Team USA in the 400 medley relay.
He puts his power-jumping skills to good use in the short sprints. Dressel is known for having the fastest, most powerful start. In a race like the 50, which is only one length of the pool, the great start is imperative. It’s difficult to make up ground as the other swimmers churn through the water.
So tonight, check out Dressel’s performances at the Tokyo Olympics. He could add his name to Olympic history. If he’s victorious in the 50, that gold will be his third individual gold medal of the meet. Only two other American swimmers ever did so. They were Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz. That’s some nice company to keep.