By: Ethan Shen
Caeleb Dressel, a 7-time Olympic champion, returned in June 2023 to swimming after a 8-month break. When Dressel took a break for mental health reasons, many believed he would not return.
During his return, Dressel was surprised by the number of things he missed about swimming. He even missed little things, like blowing bubbles in the pool or the feeling of the grip tape on the starting blocks. He even missed the chlorine, and the dry skin that came with it. “I missed every part of it,” Dressel, now 26, said. “And that’s how I knew I was ready to get back. Because I didn’t need to — I wanted to.”
For several years, Caeleb Dressel reigned as the best short distance swimmer in the world. However, his extended absence created very noticeable effects on his performance, such as not even being fast enough to qualify for the World Cup. Either way, he still loves swimming, and has always had a smile on his face while racing.