Most Americans recognize swimming only every four years during the Summer Olympics. If you fit in this group, you’ve probably wondered who will be the next American superstar following Michael Phelps‘ retirement.
Florida senior Caeleb Dressel made an impression at the FINA World Championships in Budapest over the last ten days, and may represent the most likely answer to that question.
Dressel tied Phelps’ record with seven gold medals during the World Championships. Dressel participated in three individual events, and four relay events, and took gold in all of them.
On Satuday, Dressel became the first American to win three gold medals in one day at the World Championships, completing that task with minimal rest (all inside of ninety minutes). Dressel was also named the Male Swimmer of the Championship Meet.
Caeleb Dressel’s finishes at the 2017 FINA World Championships:
50 M Free / 21.15 / 1st
100 M Free / 47.17 / 1st
100 M Butterfly / 50.07 / 1st
4X100 Men’s Free / 3:10.06 / 1st / World Record
4X100 Men’s Medley / 3:27.91 / 1st
4X100 Mixed Free / 3:19.60 / 1st / World Record
4X100 Mixed Medley / 3:38.56 / 1st / World Record
The mixed relays are a relatively new format in championship swimming featuring relay teams with men and women. Phelps never participated in a mixed relay in championship swimming. Mixed relays will be included in the 2020 Olympics for the first time.
Dressel, who earned two gold medals during the 2016 Rio Olympics, is a 21-time NCAA All-American at Florida. He has won six individual NCAA Championships including three in his junior campaign (50 M Free, 100 M Free, and 100 M Fly) and has contributed to 14 SEC Championships between his individual and relay performances.
Dressel has proven on the collegiate and the international stage that he is more than capable of becoming the next great American swimmer. Michael Phelps has even shown his support for his former teammate:
So damn fun to watch buddy!!!!@caelebdressel https://t.co/5MjNEE0RFa
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) July 30, 2017
Michael Phelps, you’ve got company.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 30, 2017