Olympic fans around the world have now seen tears of joy from Caeleb Dressel after winning the long-awaited first personal gold medal.
And they have seen his family screaming with every stroke.
“He’s just a little guy, but somehow he did it on big TV, and it’s just crazy,” said his sister, Caitlin.
A family from Green Cove Springs is riding a tsunami of emotions from half of Florida’s planet while Caeleb Dressel challenges the world’s best athletes at the Olympic Swimming Tournament at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.
“We’re still unbelievable, excited and happy with him. They’re all in mesh,” said Mike Dressel.
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Caeleb Dressel’s family glued to TV in every race
The Dressels, who gathered in Kissimmee for the Olympic Week, have been hooked on every move, including father Mike, mother Christina, wife Megan, brothers Tyler, Caeleb and Sheridon.
Heat. Semifinal. final. Watch the medals increase.
That is, for those who can even see.
“Everyone reacts differently to the race,” Tyler said. “Some people stand up and bow down. Others freeze and internalize everything.”
Due to the COVID-19 protocol, the organizers do not allow spectators (including family members) of these virus delay games at the Olympic venues in Tokyo.
“That’s one of the things we miss. We’re here, not Tokyo,” Mike said. “Every year, we see a lot of these races in big competitions. We welcome parents to the team, build a kind of bond with them and make friends with parents of other teams.”
But regardless of time zone or zip code, Dressel isn’t just watching the Olympics.
They are living them.
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They grow into a 24-year-old boy who has been a world record holder since Clay High School, 13 FINA champions (7 gold medals in 2017, 6 in 2019), and a rapidly rising American face. I have seen.Swimming, status extending from him “Make waves” In a campaign with swimwear maker Speedo, we held a family watch party for the final on Saturday night, and appeared on national broadcasts and even today shows during the tournament.
And they have endured more than a year of uncertainty about the Olympic situation in the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was the most difficult year. It’s the feeling of all that effort waiting for that extra year,” said Christina. “It’s just difficult.”
Inspiring rides were enough for the Olympic trial
The US Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska in June had already piloted the family on a week-long emotional roller coaster.
Double the thrill of competition with the Olympic spotlight and the emotional tension of the 7,000-mile distance from Tokyo to Florida.
Consequent tension: off the chart.
The world saw a thrilling ride for the family in the 100-meter freestyle final in Caeleb on Wednesday night. He started from the previous block — his spring start pushed him to an early lead in almost every race he swims — but he went home and ahead of Russian rival Kliment Kolesnikov. Later, the yellow swim cap soared into View 2 away from the lane.
The hard part was watching the 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers of Australia run through the water all at once. The lead was shrinking. The wall was approaching.
“You’re watching in real time, you’re cheering, and all these races are very close,” Mike said. “I knew he had won because there was an OR on the TV and it was his lane, but it’s very fast to handle everything in progress.”
The long-awaited individual Olympic gold brought tears to his eyes when he spoke to NBC following the victory.
“They are happy tears, especially for him, very emotional, but for us here … we are very proud,” Tyler said. “It goes home a kind.”
By Thursday night, he had won two gold medals in Tokyo. He is not slowing down. I’m not relaxed.
Dressel is overcoming tension. But they are also looking forward to the day when they can meet again as a family of individual Olympic champions.
“He just wants to come back and stay calm,” Mike said.
“I know we all want to run up and hug him and support him directly,” said Caitlin. “But at the same time, I think we are very excited that athletes can finally compete. It doesn’t really matter that we are in half the world.”
Caeleb Dressel’s Tokyo Olympics, Family-friendly Wild Ride in Florida
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