Motivated USA Swimming Team Set to Carry on Michael Phelps’ Legacy at Tokyo Olympics 2021

Published 07/06/2021, 4:31 PM EDT
Jun 20, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; U.S. swim team pose for a team photo after the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Swimming competition at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports


With Michael Phelps retired, the new-age US swimming team looks ready to dominate the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Phelps is arguably the greatest swimmer of all time with 28 medals at the Olympics. Quite staggering.

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However, with Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky, the US swimming team is once again the favorite to dominate the swimming events in Tokyo.

While Phelps won’t make a surprise appearance, Dressel is expected to take over his reigns. But can the US swimming team match the legacy created by Phelps?

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Dressel looks to win seven gold medals that would tie him up with Mark Spitz’s record. Despite all the predictions, the Olympics remains one of the most unpredictable sporting events ever seen.

Caeleb Dressel to carry team USA

The Olympics is back after a 5-year absence while athletes get ready to showcase their talents. And one man to take all the headlines is Caeleb Dressel.

‘Ever since he won two gold medals in Rio, Dressel is the closest human being to Michael Phelps, in terms of dominance in the pool.

Having won 13 gold and 2 silver medals, Dressel steamrolled past his competitors in both the 2017 and 2019 World Championships.

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – JUNE 20: Caeleb Dressel of the United States reacts after competing in the Men’s 50m freestyle final during Day Eight of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center on June 20, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

By recording a time of 21.04 in the 2021 US trails, fans expect him to dominate the swimming pool in Tokyo. He is taking part in 50 and 100-meter freestyle, as well as, in the 100-meter butterfly. Likewise, competing in four relays will boost his chances of winning gold, for the USA.

Ryan Murphy, the backstroke specialist, is another medal contender in Tokyo. Although Evgeny Rylov will be the favorite for the backstroke events, Murphy is the current world record holder of the 100-meter backstroke event. The US men’s team is expected to take home all the relay events with their wide variety of swimmers amongst their ranks.

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Katie Ledecky to make history in Tokyo Olympics 2021

While Dressel will look to dominate the men’s events, the women’s competitions will see the legendary Katie Ledecky. The 400, 800, and 1500-meter world record holder is a legend of the sport despite being only 24 years old. Incredible isn’t it?

Jun 19, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Katie Ledecky reacts after winning the in Women’s 800m Freestyle Finals during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Swimming competition at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Making her international debut in London 2012, Ledecky won the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle. She was just 15 years old. Since then, records have tumbled, and Katie dominates wherever she swims.

Rio Olympics was a testament to her success as she won four gold medals along with one silver medal and broke two world records. In total, she has won 34 medals in major swimming competitions around the world.

If she goes at this pace, she might be the greatest Olympian of all-time, surpassing Michael Phelps. Simone Manuel is another frontrunner for the US by competing in the 50-meter freestyle event. Despite going through over-training syndrome, and missing out on her trademark 100-meter freestyle.

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But Manuel hopes to win the 50-meter freestyle competition this year. Regan Smith looks to shine in the breaststroke events once again as well.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 11: Simone Manuel of the United States celebrates after winning gold in the Women’s 100m Freestyle Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The Olympics will start on July 23rd, new swimmers look to shine on the grandest stage of them all. While Phelps was the torchbearer for team USA for around two decades, Dressel and Ledecky will look to carry his legacy by producing memorable moments in Tokyo.

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Jacob Gijy

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Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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