Ryan Murphy and Caeleb Dressel react after winning the gold medal and breaking the world record in the Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final on Aug. 1, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
TOKYO — Caeleb Dressel is as humble and understated as they come. He gives others credit before accepting it himself, and he preferred it when no one knew his name.
At the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Dressel let his swimming do the talking, and now everyone knows his name.
On the final morning of competition at the Tokyo Aquatic Center, Dressel set an Olympic record in the men’s 50-meter freestyle. He led swimming’s “splash and dash” from start to finish, touching the wall in 21.07, almost a half-second ahead of silver medalist Florent Manaudou from France (2012 gold medalist in the 50 freestyle). It was the largest winning margin in a men’s Olympic 50 free ever and dropped the Olympic record by over a quarter-second.
Bruno Fratus from Brazil, a two-time world championship runner-up to Dressel in the 50, filled out the podium.
Just over an hour later, Dressel helped the U.S. men win a gold medal in the men’s 4x100-meter medley relay, breaking a 12-year-old world record in the process. They were swimming in lane 1 and had been labeled underdogs.