Caeleb Dressel A Condor Confined To Nest Now Craving Breeze Back To League Of High Flyers

Caeleb Dressel with the Cali Condors at the finale in Las Vegas. Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse

World record holder Caeleb Dressel of the United States was a key contributor for the Cali Condors in the first season of the International Swimming League (ISL) in 2019. Dressel set a world record in the 50 freestyle SCM and nearly won the most valuable swimmer award with the second most cumulative points for the season.

The ISL announced on Friday some new changes to the league, including an $11million package for the 320 swimmers on the 10 teams who were due to contest season two this year.

Of that, each swimmer will be guaranteed $1500 per month from September 2020 to July 2021 when the rescheduled Olympic Games will take place.


Caeleb Dressel – the League took flight in 2019 … much more to come – Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse

“I’m definitely excited about it,” Caeleb Dressel told Swimming World. “It’s nice to have something in place with all of the uncertainty going around. The Olympics are so far out of reach right now in regards to where our next big meet will be. So to have someone like Konstantin (Grigorishin) and the ISL community in general – it’s huge to have something within reach of not only financial gains but also just a competitive atmosphere. I miss that more than anything.

“I still have my training at the moment but competition offers something different, you can learn something different than in practice so to have a competition in place for the group of swimmers who are a part of ISL is massive. It adds something certain in this moment of uncertainty.”

The ISL will also provide a five-week solidarity camp in October – November of this year for training and competition as a catalyst to reunite the world swimming community.

Dressel expressed his excitement over that opportunity to be with his Condors teammates again, but is unsure if his schedule will allow it because of prior commitments that have been disrupted because of the coronavirus pandemic that has affected the entire world.

“I miss the team; I want that unity again,” Dressel said of the potential of being back with the Condors. “I miss the competition of ISL. I enjoyed it more than anything last year.”

“I can’t say 100% that yeah I’m going to do this (camp) because I have a lot of previous commitments that are a little messed up at the moment with the chaos of what the virus is at the moment. If it were up to me I would like to train with the team and compete with the team. It would be fun to practice together and have a group of that many elite swimmers together. If it does work out, which I hope it does, I think the practices would be fun.”


Caeleb Dressel – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Caeleb Dressel has been staying as positive as possible since the coronavirus has caused pools everywhere in the world to be shut down, leaving him to get creative with his training. But luckily for him, he is able to train in his strength coach Matt DeLancey’s garage.

“My weight regimen has not changed, I’m just in a different place,” Dressel said. “I haven’t seen (Gregg) Troy in a bit but he calls and texts me all the time which is awesome. He really cares about his athletes. He doesn’t want to get sick which I understand.”

Dressel has been able to find pool time to maintain his fitness so when it is safe to go back to organized practices then he won’t have to start from square one. With a finite start date of the 2021 Olympic Games now set in stone, he can relax a little bit on that front.

“It’s nice to have that same time frame just a year later, so you can really be on routine the exact same,” Dressel said of Tokyo 2021. “It’s not a bad scenario or situation (from a swimming perspective), it’s just how you think of it. It’s another year to train and whole year to figure things out.

“It’s not going to be make or break. It’ll be a good thing – more time to get ready, more time to prepare and figure things out.”

In the meantime, while events have been cancelled and he is forced to stay at home, Dressel has found the time of quarantine to be a good thing to catch up on emails he has put off and search for a house with his fiancee Meghan Haila, whom he got engaged to in December.

Luckily for him, the virus has not impacted his wedding plans.

“It’s actually been kind of nice, I’ve had more time to be on top of this stuff,” Dressel said with a laugh.

“It’s neither good nor bad, it’s just different. You can really turn it into a good little routine to get caught up on work. I called the DMV today, I’ve been on it!”

Dressel, just 23, is aiming for his second Olympic Games next summer in Tokyo. He is coming off a wildly successful 2019 where he broke his first world record in his career in the 100 LCM butterfly with a 49.50 at the World Championships, lowering the record that had been set by the most successful swimmer in history Michael Phelps.

Dressel won individual gold medals in the 50 & 100 freestyle as well as the 50 & 100 butterfly and three relays. His success in 2019 landed him the Swimmer of the Championships at Worlds and the World Swimmer of the Year by this publication.

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