After some head-scratching performances from Olympic gold medalist and 7-time World Champion Caeleb Dressel at the 2018 U.S. National Championships and subsequent Pan Pacific Championships, it now appears as if some degree of explanation has emerged.
During NBC Sports’ tape-delayed broadcast of Pan Pacs Sunday afternoon, Rowdy Gaines‘ longtime on-air partner Dan Hicks announced that Dressel had crashed his motorcycle on a grassy median in late June in his hometown of Gainesville, Florida.
Following the 50 freestyle in Tokyo, where Dressel finished 2nd (21.93) behind American teammate Michael Andrew (21.46), Dressel told NBC Sports’ Ahmed Fareed that “It wasn’t anything too big.” He went on to say, “I had a gentleman pull out in front of me, so I had to avoid him… nothing major [of the injuries]. A few minor things. Other than that, I was fine… I think the accident was as lucky as I could have gotten with it. It maybe, maybe didn’t interfere with my training.”
In regards to riding the motorcycle moving forward, Dressel noted, “A lot of people have put a temporary hold on me… probably a permanent one.”
Individually, Dressel wrapped up Pan Pacs with 1 gold medal (100 fly) and 2 silver medals (50 free, 100 free). However, his times over the last 2 weeks were not at all reflective of his 2017 performances.