‘Not Ready’ – Caeleb Dressel Laments About Inexperience in the U.S. Swimming Team for Tokyo Olympics 2021

Published 06/28/2021, 1:28 PM EDT
Jun 17, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Caeleb Dressel reacts in the MenÕs 100m Freestyle Finals during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Swimming competition at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports


Caeleb Dressel, along with Katie Ledecky will be the highlight of USA’s swimming team at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Dressel is aiming for a handful of medals in what will be his second Olympic appearance, but the 24-year-old swimming sensation is not yet ready to fill in the mighty shoes left behind by guys like Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, and Anthony Ervin, to name a few. 

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Caeleb Dressel was the standout star at the recently concluded U.S. Olympic Trials for swimming. He will now compete in the Tokyo Olympics 2021 in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle events, and also the 100m butterfly. Dressel is expected to win gold in all three individual events.

“They left behind some really big shoes to fill. I’m not ready for them, and I have to be,” Dressel mentioned about leading the swimming team. “It doesn’t just fall on my shoulders. I think everyone who is on the team, we’re going to have to pick up the pace, because what they left behind is huge from all of them.”

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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

A lot of the big guns in men’s swimming have stepped down from the sport. From Michael Phelps to Anthony Ervin, all of them have passed the torch to the next generation. Dressel is the leader of the new-look Olympic team, but the 24-year-old is yet to get accustomed to it. 

Caeleb Dressel is not ready to go to the Olympics without Nathan Adrian

Veteran swimmers like Anthony Ervin and Nathan Adrain took part in the Olympic swimming trials, but could not make the cut at any event. Of course, the youngsters were expected to outshine them, but Dressel isn’t mentally ready to travel to Tokyo without Adrian being a part of the team

“To be honest I’m not ready for a team without Nathan [Adrian],” Dressel mentioned. “I told him that. What he brings to the team, all those guys, big guys, literally all of them are pretty big guys. What they bring, their impact, what they present to the team is huge.”

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Nathan Adrian is an eight-time gold medalist and has been a part of the USA’s swimming team since the 2008 games in Beijing. However, he won’t take part this year and posted a gracious message to his teammates

Dressel is certainly dejected by Adrian missing the cut, but he respects the qualification process. Team USA is sending its strongest swimmers to Tokyo, and Caeleb Dressel is the superstar who is touted to establish their dominance along with Katie Ledecky. 

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Arjun Athreya

2029 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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