It's hard to know what impresses the most about Caeleb Dressel. Is it his impressive grip in the pools, or his serene management of sport under a pandemic giving the impression that nothing can reach him, and even less sink it? Everyone will have their opinion on the matter. But one aspect will make everyone agree: the American of 24 is a champion apart. Who, as he admits himself, isn't really drawn to the blinding light of the spotlights: “
If it was up to me, it would just be me, the water, my training, my trainer Gregg Troy and my teammates, and that's it. I don't want to be famous. I just want to see how far I can go with what I've been given and try to reach my maximum potential.
"And the basin bomb added, almost surprisingly:"
Honestly, if I finish second in a race and beat my best time, I'm probably going to be pretty happy.
The Olympic medal table
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Triple world champion in less than two hours
Fortunately for him, this happens very rarely. Not to say never, as his domination has been great since 2017. Thirteen world titles, four world records, the Florida swimmer leaves nothing but crumbs to others. And nothing seems to satiate him. Thus, during the 22017 Worlds, he wrote an incredible page in his discipline by winning, in less than two hours, no less than three titles with the 50m freestyle, then the 100m butterfly and finally the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay. With the passage of a 494486 in butterfly very close to the world record of a certain Michael Phelps. A swimmer after whom he runs, even involuntarily. Thus, in Tokyo, he leaves with the ambition to collect six gold medals: three in individual, over 100m, the queen race, 100m butterfly and 50m, and three in relay (4x100m,4x100m Medley and 4x100m Mixed Medley). And, even if it's more unlikely, why not participate in a fourth relay, the 4x200m.
In pursuit of Phelps and Spitz
Only two swimmers have achieved more bountiful harvests in Olympic history. Michael Phelps of course, with eight coronations in as many races swam in 2008 in Beijing (400m medley, 200m medley, 200m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 200m, 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x100m medley). And Mark Spitz, with seven in 1972 in Munich (Germany), over 100m, 200m, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly and three relays (4x100m, 4x200m and 4x100m medley). Another American, Matt Biondi, "
" at five titles in 1988 in Seoul, but matched them with a silver and a bronze. Dressel proved he was of that caliber by setting the bar in these waters for four years. Even if, more than a challenge compared to his predecessors, the American seems above all motivated to surpass himself. "
I like to swim fast and always try to improve myself.
I don't like that feeling of standing still.
I don't need people looking at me.
A state of mind that allowed him to manage the long period of confinement wonderfully, and more generally the pandemic.
To listen to him, neither the postponement of one year of the Olympics, nor the absence of the public disturbs him.
Why would I be upset to have one more year to extend this momentum?
“, He wondered last fall in an interview with two French media, including AFP.
I'm not going to complain about having another year to prepare myself and try to capitalize on it.
The same detachment about the closed session.
I don't need people looking at me.
Obviously I prefer when the stands are full, I like the show, I like to feed on the energy that emanates from a crowd that shouts and applauds.
At the Budapest Worlds (2017), I remember the atmosphere was incredible, it was electric, he developed.
But anyway, when you dive, it all goes out.
We change dimension, we enter another world for which we are not programmed.
"A world over which he reigns so far, he who now wants to win his first individual Olympic title after the two relay coronations obtained in Rio five years ago (4x100m and 4x100m medley).
Read also: The full Tokyo 2020 program
Read also: The complete Tokyo 2020 medal table
For the rest, four first finals are scheduled this Sunday morning (overnight from 3.30am in France). Katie Ledecky, the other star of the American team, will swim on Sunday evening the first 400m of her potential 6,400m marathon in the Tokyo basin, with an unprecedented 200-400-800-1500m quadruple in the viewfinder.