2020 Tokyo Olympics: Caeleb Dressel Opens Up About How Michael Phelps Mentored Him During Games

by Samantha Whidden

Following his return to the U.S. after competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, swimming superstar Caeleb Dressel opened up to reporters how former Team USA swimmer Michael Phelps mentored him at this year’s Games.

While chatting with TMZ, the gold medalist states he actually texted Phelps more than his wife Meghan while he was competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “It was nice being able to lean on him. He helped me a lot throughout [the Games].” 

Dressel also says that he texted Phelps after a couple of the 2020 Tokyo Games’ events and Phelps was more than welcome to help Dressel figure out some stuff. During this year’s games, Dressel won FIVE gold medals, which were in the Men’s 50m Freestyle, 100M Freestyle, 100M Butterfly, 4x100M Freestyle Relay, and 4x100M Medley Relay. 

Dressel is a two-time Olympian and seven-time Olympic medalist (7 gold). He previously won gold in the 4x100M Freestyle and the 4x100M Medley Relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

Dressel Talks About Being Compared to Phelps During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 

During an interview with TODAY last week, Dressel states that it was unfair to compare him to Phelps during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “I don’t think it’s fair to Michael. He’s a better swimmer than me. I’m completely fine with saying that,” Dressel states. He also says that beating Michael isn’t his goal in the sport. 

“I’m a very different athlete than Michael. He was at a whole other level,” the 2020 Tokyo Olympics participant proclaims. He does say that he’s fine is fine if people want to compare him to Phelps. “I have some goals that I would like to accomplish to where I can consider myself to be great. I don’t have to compare himself to Michael to consider myself to be great.”

Prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Phelps and Dressel won the gold during the 2016 Rio Olympics in the Men’s 4x100M Freestyle relay.  Phelps retired after the 2016 Games.

Also sharing details about his experience at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Dressel says, “If I learn something from the [Games], [its] to move forward into next year. If I learn something about myself as a man, as a person, as an athlete, as a swimmer, I’ll be happy with it.”

In regards to his 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics medals, Dressel says the fun part of the Games is racing. “I get to enjoy the race… I don’t need a piece of medal to remind me of that and I got to enjoy it.”

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics’ medalist goes on to add that he appreciates the fact that swimming is simple. “[Swimming] is very primitive, very simple. ‘Let me see if I can go faster than you.’ There’s no judging, no scores. Just time. ‘Let me get my hand on the wall faster than you.’”