Does Caeleb Dressel Feel Phelps Expectations? GMM presented by

Gold Medal Minute presented by

We had to ask the question, does Caeleb Dressel feel pressure to fill the Michael Phelps void?

Dressel was sixth in the 200m free last summer at U.S. Nationals, but he didn’t swim on Team USA’s 800 free relay at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest.  Of course Dressel didn’t need an extra event. He tied Michael Phelps‘ World Championship all-time performance (from 2007) with seven gold medals.

Michael Phelps, Caeleb Dressel – 2016 Olympic Games (by simone castrovillari)

Dressel’s response on the Phelps void question came across, as expected, authentic and honest. Dressel doesn’t think Team USA has a talent void.

Following up on the question about Phelps expectations for Tokyo 2020, Dressel acknowledged that his 2017 Worlds performance would put the spotlight on him–but he’s focused on creating his own pressure.  Dressel corrected himself, saying, “responsibility, and I like that word a little bit better.”   In sum, it sounds like Dressel’s internalizing his motivations, staying true to his own goals no matter how much we predict, argue and/or debate his future.

2018 SUMMER PREDICTIONS? I’m sticking by my previous predictions for Caeleb.

  • 20.89 50m free
  • 46.9 100m free
  • 49 low 100m fly

***Yes, I know that’s toppling three world records from the tech-suit era, and I am fully aware Caeleb will probably swim faster than the times above.

What do you think? 

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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of, a Swimming News website.

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He’s his own man…hasn’t seem to be bothered before.

Coach Mike 1952

….or now much either. Gotta like his term “responsibility” Good head on his broad butterfly shoulders. Quite mature, bodes well.


If there’s a summer to see what it’s like to try more individual events, then a non-Olympic/Worlds year is the one to do it in. Having the mixed relays creates a dilemma for him I think, as he won’t want to let the team down, but it’s two more swims on top of Phelps’ schedule and 5 relay golds and 3 individuals probably won’t be viewed quite the same as 5 individual and 3 relays in the GOAT conversation (plus we all want to see him swim some other events rather than 100 free 4/5 times). Out of interest Mel, you say you think he’ll go faster than those times, does than mean you think he’ll go 48 for the… Read more »


I agree, I think having the two extra relays this past worlds should put an asterisk next to the fact that he tied phelps’ record. His best distance lends itself to two more events than Phelps had. I think the only other event he could be a gold medal threat in is the 2im

Gold Medal Mel

No. 49 low is it, and that would be great. I don’t see a 48 100 fly.


Now let’s not put Phelpsian pressure on him. Wouldn’t want an elite athlete to feel pressure.


The comparisons will inevitably be there if Dressel keeps up this level of dominance. They are definitely very different though not just in swimming style but demeanor. Almost like comparing Lebron to MJ

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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