Caleb Dressel left the World Swimming Championships in Budapest. Without more arguments than a brief, vague statement mentioning “medical reasons” “unrelated to Covid,” the great global swimming star withdrew from competition after winning two golds in the Hungarian event (in the 50m butterfly and in the 4×100 freestyle) and without showing signs of ill shape or injury in his four matches between Saturday and Tuesday. Just when two formidable competitors loomed over him in the fetish tests: Romania’s David Popovici in the 100 freestyle and Hungarian Christoph Milak in the 100 butterfly.
USA Swimming issued a strongly worded statement after 5 pm on Wednesday: “After discussion with Caleb, his coaches and medical staff, a decision has been made to withdraw him from the FINA Budapest., in. Hungary. Our priority is and always will be the health of our athletes and we will continue to provide Caleb with support You need to recover quickly.” And sources from the federation determined that the problems that afflicted the swimmer were not related to Covid.
The semantic construction of the speech recalled the official statements made by the US Olympic Committee a year ago to justify the abandonment of Simon Biles from the Tokyo Games, the victim of many psychological suffering.
Dressel, turning 26 in August, was not an emotionally stable young man. After winning five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics a year ago, he admitted that he suffers from severe depression. Suddenly, he felt that what he was doing no longer made sense. Until Christmas, he had a strong desire to give up everything. He didn’t just think of giving up swimming. He stated in an interview that he relapsed into such a “miserable” state of mind that he had to turn to psychotherapy. When his mother Christina was asked in front of the camera if she feared for her son’s life, she had to stop and think: “I don’t think so.”
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