Not Enjoyable But Worth It

Sprinter Caeleb Dressel has develop into the fourth American to win 5 gold medals in a single Olympic games, lofting him to the heights loved by champions Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, and Matt Biondi. However in a poignant interview after claiming his final medal, he mentioned it was a hellish journey.

“I’m going to take a break, take a bit of break right here,” Dressel advised reporters after his win on Sunday. “I’m fairly over swimming, guys.”

Dressel, a shy 24-year-old who has publicly struggled with stress and efficiency nervousness, mentioned these video games—highlighted by a slew of scandals in Japan, COVID-19 circumstances, and superstars like Simone Biles withdrawing from some occasions partially on account of mental-health considerations—had been eye opening.

“This isn’t straightforward, not a straightforward week in any respect,” he mentioned through the submit podium press convention. “Some components have been extraordinarily pleasurable. I’d say the vast majority of them weren’t. You may’t sleep proper, you possibly can’t nap, shaking on a regular basis. I most likely misplaced 10 kilos. I’m going to weigh myself and eat some meals after I get again. It’s lots of stress we placed on the physique.”

Regardless of the stress and stress he felt, Dressel mentioned, he would do it once more. “It’s not essentially the most pleasurable course of, however it’s price it,” he mentioned. “Each a part of it’s price it. Simply trigger it’s dangerous doesn’t imply it’s not price it.”

Dressel has been journaling to assist sift via the feelings that include being an elite athlete, however mentioned he had not been capable of write for just a few days main as much as his two-event Sunday, wherein he received a gold medal within the 50-meter freestyle simply hours earlier than serving to his 4 X 100 meter medley relay group to victory. “I can’t even write, carry my arm,” he mentioned. “I don’t know. I wish to be in the proper state of mind. I truly didn’t journal final evening. I used to be too drained. I wish to get in the proper state of mind, perhaps on the flight again, so I can actually reminisce.”

Earlier than sealing his astonishing win, the self-described “weirdo loner” told a sports journalist with I-News that he had demons of his personal. “I’m fairly good at placing a face on,” Dressel mentioned. “I knew that weight was on my shoulders. [But] stress is ok. It’s whenever you flip it into stress; that’s when it turns into an issue. My first swim I felt like I used to be turning the stress into stress. The semi-final and closing is when I discovered my groove.”

He additionally spoke in regards to the criticism that usually befalls elite athletes, which this 12 months has included deranged far-right jabs at Biles, typically acknowledged to be the best gymnast of all time. “I do know my title is thrown on the market and I may care much less about it,” Dressel mentioned. “It’s one thing that comes with the game if you end up on prime of the rostrum.”

He admitted that he will get so nervous he has to “cocooon” earlier than huge matches. He doesn’t even name residence. “I’ve to handle my feelings,” he mentioned. “I can’t be calling them [wife and parents] each evening, as a result of I cry so much and I’m an emotional individual. So I can’t be exerting that power that I ought to put into my swimming.”

Earlier than Sunday, his earlier medals within the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been within the 100 meter freestyle, the 100 meter butterfly—wherein he broke his personal world document— and the 4 X 100 meter freestyle relay. | Not Pleasant However Value It


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