Last week, in its annual Sexiest Man Alive issue, People Magazine named Olympic gold medalist and World Record holder Caeleb Dressel as the sexiest Olympian. Dressel was on a short list of athletes that included out fellow Florida Gator and Team USA gold medalist Bobby Finke, American skateboarder Nyjah Houston, American track and field sprinter Noah Lyles, and British diver Tom Daley.
Dressel won 5 gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, 3 in individual events, bringing his career total to 7 Olympic medals, all gold.
In People‘s feature on Dressel the two-time Olympian opens up about the pressure he put on himself in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games as well as his outlook now that the Games are (finally) past. Like every athlete who competed in Tokyo, Dressel had to endure the one-year delay of the Games brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dressel makes a point to address the role that his mental health plays in his ability to compete at the highest level of the sport, as well as how important it will be for him to prioritize his mental health in the years ahead. Dressel, who is 25-years-old, does not want his career to end early. In fact, Dressel states that he hopes to still be wearing a Speedo at the age of 60–whether that means Dressel will someday rewrite the Masters Swimming record books or simply swim laps as a means to stay fit, he does not say. Swimming, of course, is just one part of Dressel’s life, and states that he hopes to continue learning how to be a better husband, son, brother, and dog owner as he gets older.
Dressel also reveals that he was once insecure about being a swimmer and wearing a Speedo since swimming was not as “cool” as the sports his peers did.
“I had the glasses, I wasn’t in a cool sport, I was super skinny, lanky, so, of course, that’s the perfect concoction for being a pretty big weirdo about yourself,” states Dressel.
Some more quotes from the People Magazine interview are included below.
“That’s the biggest goal after coming back from Tokyo: being able to breathe,” says Dressel. “I think I overdid it, to be honest. I got great results, but I think it was to a fault. Because I drove myself crazy and I don’t think that’s fair to myself. I don’t want to end up leaving the sport early or hating it because I didn’t give myself time to respect the water and I feel like the water has always respected me. I would like to prioritize myself a little bit more instead of swimming.”
Regarding his long-term outlook on swimming and life in general, Dressel says:
“I’m 25 at the moment, maybe I’ll have it figured out when I’m 30. Probably not. Maybe when I’m 40. Maybe when I’m like 60, that would be cool,” Dressel told People. “I would hope by then I would have it figured out and I just be a super happy guy who’s still swimming. I hope I’m still wearing Speedos when I’m 60. I know I got a long way to go, but I’ve enjoyed it thus far.”