This week, USA Swimming held a relay camp at the University of Texas at Austin where several swimmers on the U.S. National team were present. In addition, 2022 U.S. World Championship head coaches Todd DeSorbo and Anthony Nesty and assistant coach Ron Aitken were also there.
USA Swimming confirmed to SwimSwam on Saturday that the event was a “closed camp”, and that they would not be sharing details. SwimSwam has not received any further information on the camp, though they have reached out to multiple swimmers and coaches present there and have not gotten any responses back.
That being said, several swimmers and coaches have posted pictures on social media about the camp.
From social media photos, it appears that seven-time Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel was amongst the swimmers present at the relay camp. Dressel has not competed at an official swim meet since pulling out of the 2022 World Championships for “non-COVID-related medical reasons” last summer and has stayed relatively quiet on social media since then. However, in March 2023, it was confirmed to SwimSwam that he was back in training.
Other swimmers spotted at the relay camp include U.S. National Team members Katie Ledecky, Leah Smith, Lydia Jacoby, Erin Gemmell, Torri Huske, Regan Smith, Claire Curzan, Bella Sims, Claire Weinstein, Katie Grimes, Kate Douglass, Luke Hobson, Carson Foster, Drew Kibler, Trenton Julian, Jake Magahey, Kieran Smith, Brooks Curry, Justin Ress, and Shaine Casas.
Notably, the swimmers at the relay camp seem to be trending towards the younger side. With the exception of Ledecky, Ress, L. Smith, Held, and Dressel, none of the swimmers are over a year removed from graduating college. In addition, many swimmers who have been on recent Team USA relays at major long course meets such as Hunter Armstrong, Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew, Nic Fink, Erika Brown, Abbey Weitzeil, Alex Walsh, Hali Flickinger, Lilly King, Natalie Hinds, and Simone Manuel were not seen at the camp.
Though no specific reason for these relay camps have been given to SwimSwam, it is worth noting that USA Swimming recently announced a relay incentive program where the U.S. team at the 2023 World Championships and 2024 Olympic Games will earn bonus money for hitting certain relay achievements. This includes a $1 million bonus that will be split between the entire 2024 U.S. Olympic swim team if they win gold in all seven relays at the Paris Games.
My son swims age group at UT and was beyond excited to see Ledecky on deck when he arrived for practice. Very happy 10 year old!
Caeleb is back in some form!
Remember the Lochte photo with the photoshopped abs?
If Dressel returns to form and gets back on TV, I’m sure he’ll be questioned about what happened.
And if Rowdy Gaines asks the questions, it will awkward and cringey.
So Caeleb, get your answers ready.
On television, by the swimming media? Highly doubt that
Actually interesting thought, how will the NBC announcers script the 10minutes leading up to the 100free final the next time Caeleb swims it: “this is David Popovici, defending world champ and World record holder, but keep in mind Dressel was not in that final due to…”
It’s kind of hard for them to fill in rest of that sentence unless there is a formal explanation at some point. No one will blink an eye if that ends with “mental health reasons’ but people just need to form consensus that that’s the explanation
I can’t see them dodging this at the next big broadcast
idk I feel like they can just mention that Dressel wasn’t in the field and leave it at that
Only way that happens is if he gets interviewed by non-American media.
Popovicism is damn hard to overcome
After how many golds in Tokyo? Man is fine
They’ve even got the jumbo screen active for the event.
And why did he step away again
We, as the fans who spectate the sport and therefore make the revenue that he lives off of and gives him the opportunity to compete in the sport, still don’t know. Even when he did so in the middle of a World Championships where the people who placed after him at Trials not only missed out on going by virtue of him having supposed to have been there (and possibly had their careers ended as a consequence), but they did so for literally no reason. We instead had no one compete in his place. An empty lane instead of the deserved experience, resume builder, and pivotal moment of someone’s life.
Well, at least we all know who has been living rent free in your head
Well, at least we know who lacks empathy for swimmers whose careers were shafted because of… oh right, the decency was never in place to inform us of the reason.
Looks like the only one lacking empathy here is you.
Lol…curious…would you feel this way if Dressel had torn a muscle and not been able to compete? Broken a bone? Dislocated a shoulder? It’s a shame that there are still people who don’t believe that mental health is as important as physical health. Also a shame that people feel health info is any of their business. Just because other sports have normalized it, doesn’t mean it should be the norm.
thats super entitled. I missed my chance at one more shot to make trials, by .05 and the person who beat me went slower in finals than I did in prelims by quite a bit. and I’m a night swimmer so I know I would have gone faster. but I didnt whine about it because when my chance came up, I fell short. thats the way the cookie crumbles.
I hear the American coaches are picking Drezzle to lead off the mixed medley relay in Fukuoka, another smart choice 👏