2020 Tokyo Olympics: Meet US Gold Medalist Swimmer Caeleb Dressel

by Keeli Parkey

One of the Olympians on Team USA who is emerging as a star of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is swimmer Caeleb Dressel.

The swimmer has already won two gold medals (as of the early afternoon hours ET time on Thursday, July 29). So far, he helped lead the American 4×100 relay team to victory. He also won the 100-meter freestyle and set an Olympic record doing so. More medals could be on the way for him during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Let’s meet the man in the suit.

According to NBC Sports, Dressel is a Florida native. The 24-year-old is viewed by some to be the next big name in American swimming after the retirement of Michael Phelps following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Dressel is no stranger to competing on the world stage. During the 2016 Games, he was part of the gold-medal-winning 4×100 free relay. He was also part of the heats of the team’s 4×100 medley relay. This experience made him a teammate of the legendary Phelps.

His work leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics led him to be selected as the co-caption for Team USA swimming. In 2017, Dressel won an impressive seven gold medals at the world championships. Two years later, he won six gold and two silver medal at the same event. What he did in 2019 at the world championships made him the only swimmer to win eight medals at the competition.

Also, during the United States Olympic Trials in June Dressel won three events. These were the 100-meter freestyle, 50-meter freestyle, and the 100-meter butterfly.

Caeleb Dressel Came Into 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the American Record Holder in Swimming Events

Caeleb Dressel is also a record-setting swimmer. For example, in 2019 he broke the 100-meter butterfly record previously held by Michael Phelps at the world championships. In 2009, Phelps set the record at 49.82 seconds. Ten years later, Dressel won the race with a time of 49.5 seconds.

Going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Dressel held the records for American swimmers in the 50-meter freestyle (at 21.04 seconds), the 50-meter butterfly (at 22.35 seconds), and the 100-meter freestyle (at 46.96) seconds.

Caeleb Dressel is pretty easily recognizable in the pool. He’s the guy with all the tattoos. Appropriately, on his right arm are the Olympic rings. His left arm is covered in a sleeve. Part of this sleeve are images of an alligator, a bald eagle, and a bear.

Dressel also carries a special item with him when he is competing. This item is a blue bandana that was previously owned by Claire McCool. She was a high school teacher of his who passed away in 2017. The blue bandana was given to Dressel by McCool’s husband after her death. He has used it as a motivational tool.

“It’s the most important thing in my life for a physical object. It’s just nice to carry her behind the blocks in a physical form,” Dressel said. “She’s with me every race, and it will be until I finish my career. You can get used to that bandana for a while.”