Caeleb Dressel Breaks Silence With Instagram Post; “I Know I Can Have Swimming and Happiness”

Caeleb Dressel -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Caeleb Dressel Breaks Silence With Instagram Post; “I Know I Can Have Swimming and Happiness”

Midway through the World Championships, U.S. star Caeleb Dressel withdrew from the meet because of undisclosed health concerns. Dressel had not spoken publicly since leaving Budapest until he posted on Instagram Sunday evening. In the post, Dressel said that he has not swum since Worlds, that he has been happy without swimming and that he still plans on returning to the sport.

In the post, Dressel said:

“Hey friends I haven’t been on here at all but I wanted to share an update with what I’ve been up to. I haven’t swam since worlds and can honestly say I have been happy without swimming. I really miss it though.

“A few things I’ve done… I finally went on a honeymoon to Iceland, I bought a tractor, hiked another section of the Appalachian Trail, swam with some manatees.

“I know I can have swimming and happiness. I had them both at one point in my life and I’m working on it. If you need a break, take one.

“I’ll be back.”

Before leaving Worlds, Dressel won world titles in the 400 freestyle relay and 50 butterfly, but after qualifying second in the 100 free prelims, he scratched that event, and a day later, USA Swimming announced that he was done for the meet. Dressel has won six Olympic gold medals in his career, including five at the Tokyo Games last year, and despite scratching out of three individual events at Worlds, he still ranks first in the world in the 50 free, 50 fly and 100 fly while he is ranked sixth in the 100 free.

Dressel did not take an extended break after those Games as he jumped back into International Swimming League competition just one month after leaving Japan. But this is not the first time Dressel has been away from the water for an extended period. During his senior year of high school, he stopped swimming for almost six months after a breakout performance at Winter Junior Nationals. Dressel returned from that layoff to become the top swimmer in college swimming, and by 2017, he was the world’s top male swimmer, a perch he held onto through the 2021 Olympics.