Caeleb Dressel Donning Speedo Tech Suit to Chase 20-Second Barrier in 50 Freestyle

Caeleb Dressel (photo: Mike Lewis)
Caeleb Dressel; Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

Caeleb Dressel will partner with Speedo in an attempt to break the 20-second barrier over short-course meters in a 50-meter freestyle, with Dressel wearing a Fastskin LZR Racer.

The attempt will be released via social media at noon Eastern time on Dec. 10. The attempt requires Dressel donning the now-banned LZR racer, part of the Fastskin series that launched 20 years ago and ushered in the “super suit” revolution that downed records the world over.

Banned in 2010, some of those records remain until the present, and Dressel will don the suit made by his sponsor to commemorate that monumental shift in swimsuit technology. The LZR Racers, which were launched in 2008 and designed in consultation with NASA, were made of 50 percent polyurethane, the non-textile fabric able to compress the body more than 70 times tighter than other suits to reduce resistance in the water.


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Dressel set the world record in the 50 free at the International Swimming League Grand Final last week, clocking in at 20.16, part of three world records he took down during the ISL season in Budapest. His times in textiles suits have undercut many of the records set by super-suited swimmers in the late 2000s, when LZR Racers were worn by 94 percent of swimming gold medalists at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“I’m looking forward to racing in this historic suit and really excited that Speedo has put this event together,” Caeleb Dressel said in a Speedo press release. “I’m not sure what to expect time wise but I am confident I can put together a well-executed race and we’ll see what happens. I was too young to experience the hype of the LZR Racer, but I feel I am part of it now. Speedo has always been the front runner in swimming and I am always proud to be partnered with a brand that continually pushes the boundaries of innovation.”

“The impact of the Speedo LZR Racer suit remains a seminal moment in the world of swimming – known as the ‘Super Suit’ era,” Rob Hicking, Speedo’s Brand Director, said. “We have always been committed to finding an edge for our swimmers and have tried everything from sharkskin modelling to testing alongside NASA in the past 20 years under our Fastskin banner.

“We’ve all seen swimmers get stronger and faster in the water and have only speculated about what could be achieved if technological advances were not restricted. We’re really excited to find out what’s possible. It’s been a tough year for swimmers around the world and so we hope this can provide some inspiration as people start getting back into the pool.”


  1. avatar

    This article is a little confusing. For instance, if the suit is still banned does that mean the time will not count? If the time does not count what is the point of the event?

    • avatar

      Not confusing at all, every swim fan knows these suits are banned.
      The point of the event is ‘fun’. And marketing.

    • avatar

      Have you seen the sub 2 hour of the marathon test? It’s the same, proving the barrier some day could be broken and promote their brand and technology.

    • avatar

      It’s a sponsorship, so he’s being paid to wear the suit. Swimming is about testing your limits and racing against yourself, so even if the time doesn’t officially count, everyone knows he did it and (most importantly) he knows it.

  2. avatar

    This is a terrible idea. CB has maybe the worst agents and worst judgement in history if he goes through with this. I don’t know why Speedo wants to remind us that they foisted and perpetrated a crime against their own sport with the tech suits. Wiping out the swims of legends before it was time ( yes they had tons of help ). It would be much more exciting to watch CB race next season in every ISL meet waiting to see him break the barrier under his own power, which he has the capability to do. And who knows how many other records too, short and long course. Promote that.
    I would advice Speedo to find a better way to remind us that they make great swim suits for elite competition NOW. And I would tell CB to run from this spectacle, or swim away from it has hard and fast as he can. Which is pretty – F ing fast!

  3. Matthew Rung

    Hopefully won’t leave the drawstring hanging out of that one ???

  4. David Amato

    I love Speedo, BUT – I’m just not into this. This guy’s performances are exciting enough to watch on their own. Guess my position is obvious, I’ve never been into the tech suits.

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