TAKE YOUR MARK: Speedo was first in line to ink recently turned professional swimmer Caeleb Dressel, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, as the newest member of Team Speedo USA.
The swimwear specialist, a division of PVH Corp., has a history with leading swimmers as the sport’s most decorated brand — more Olympic medals have been won by competitors wearing Speedo swimsuits than all other swimwear brands combined. Dressel can hold his own in terms of accolades. In addition to two Olympic gold medals, he was the first swimmer to break the 40-second mark in the 100-yard freestyle and the first to go less than 18 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle.
As a senior on the University of Florida’s men’s swimming and diving team, Dressel was named the 2018-19 SEC Male Athlete of the Year. He holds seven American long and short-course records. Speedo USA president John Graham said Caeleb is a star, plain and simple. “Our goal with Team Speedo is to always build a complete, well-rounded roster of world-class swimmers who will embody Speedo in and out of the pool and connect with our fans across the country.”
With Team Speedo, Dressel joins the ranks of Nathan Adrian, Missy Franklin, Ryan Murphy, Cullen Jones, Kevin Cordes, Katie Meili, Conor Dwyer, Hali Flickinger and Becca Meyers. When not training, doing double sessions, weight training and other dryland exercises, Team Speedo USA athletes serve as ambassadors for the Speedo Fit aquatic fitness program and swim and sun safety initiatives. Their game plan is to act as inspirational figures for swimmers of all ages and abilities.
Dressel told his 139,000 Instagram followers Thursday, “I’m excited to join @SpeedoUSA and their team of exceptional swimmers as we continue to innovate the sport of swimming and how everyone experiences the water. #TeamSpeedo.” (His five-month-old black lab seems to appear in every other recent photo.)
Dressel continues to train with his former college coach Gregg Troy, who now heads up the Gator Swim Club in Gainesville. As far as athletes go, swimmers require minimal equipment — a swimsuit, cap and goggles, but Dressel has a highly recognizable style. The Floridian has self-branded himself with an emblem of his home state on his left forearm — a gator tattoo is a tribute to his alma mater. He also has an expansive eagle tattoo on that shoulder and a bear on his forearm, which make him easy to identify when competing. While his left arm has symbols of determination, his right forearm has a sign of great reward — the five Olympic rings.