Ryan Murphy, Caeleb Dressel, Allison Schmitt, and Simone Manuel have been announced as captains of the United States’ Tokyo 2020 swim team. The selection was revealed to the team by team member Hunter Armstrong as he performed a card trick with the assistance of fellow Olympians Jay Litherland and Lilly King:
Work that captain ✨magic✨
— USA Swimming (@USASwimming) July 5, 2021
The selection of 4 captains for the 2020 Olympic team represents the smallest lineup of captains in recent years as there were 5 selected in 2012 and 6 in 2016. Allison Schmitt represents the only 2-time captain this year, having served in the role back in 2016 alongside Elizabeth Beisel (three-time Olympian), Cammile Adams (two-time Olympian), Nathan Adrian (three-time Olympian), Anthony Ervin (three-time Olympian), and Michael Phelps (five-time Olympian). Schmitt is the most experienced member of this year’s Olympic squad and will be making an appearance at a 4th straight Olympic Games, having swum at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Games.
Schmitt won Olympic gold in the women’s 200 freestyle in London and also collected silver in the 400 free. Along with her 2 individual Olympic medals from 2012, she has also won 6 relay medals across her 3 Olympic appearances. Schmitt qualified to race the women’s 200 freestyle in Tokyo by delivering a second-place finish to Katie Ledecky at the recent U.S. Olympic Trials.
The other 3 captains—Murphy, Manuel and Dressel—are all set to represent the United States at their 2nd straight Olympic Games, and all collected gold medals at Rio 2016. Ryan Murphy became a 3-time Olympic gold medalist in 2016 by nabbing first place in the men’s 100 and 200 backstrokes along with the men’s 4×100 medley relay.
Manuel on the other hand won gold in the women’s 100 freestyle back in 2016 by tying Canada’s Penny Oleksiak. Manuel has remained a dominant force for the U.S. since then and won gold in the 100 freestyle and both the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. Manuel failed to qualify for her signature 100 freestyle this year at the 2021 US Olympic Trials, placing 9th overall in the semi-finals. She discussed after the fact that she was recently diagnosed with over-training syndrome earlier this year.
Manuel bounced back on the final day of Trials, however, and powered her way to a 1st place finish in the women’s 50 freestyle, earning herself a spot on the team.
Since Rio 2016 where he collected gold in the men’s 4×100 freestyle and medley relays, Caeleb Dressel has risen to become one of the world’s fastest and most talented swimmers. Dressel won an incredible 7 gold medals at the 2017 World Championships and collected 6 golds and 2 silvers at the 2019 World Championships. He will enter as a potential 3-event individual winner in Tokyo after having won the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 butterfly at Trials.