Caeleb Dressel Taught Some of the Other Swimmers to Play Poker: 'Little Moments' Make Us Team USA
Caeleb Dressel and some of the other superstar male athletes of USA Swimming wanted to help their female teammates excel at a very different kind of challenge.
Dressel, 24, said that Team USA's men spent time during the run-up to the Summer Olympics teaching the women of the squad how to play poker.
Answering a question from PEOPLE about the team's camaraderie during a press conference in Tokyo on Sunday, Dressel said, "This was one of my highlights and this just goes to showcase the uniqueness of USA swimming."
The seven-time gold medalist — five in these Games alone — explained, "We were teaching [the women] how to play and we were I guess the coaches. … Just moments like that, it's so much fun. They always clapped for each other after every hand. Moments like that, all the moments at camp where we really become Team USA."
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Camp was USA Swimming's 17-day training sessions, held in Hawaii earlier in July.
That extended period of time, together, Michael Andrew told PEOPLE, was nice — especially as he comes from a background where he swims alone.
"It's an honor, one, to represent the U.S. but to come together with such a strong group of guys and women, it's been incredible — camp was amazing in Hawaii, our time in the performance center was incredible and here at the village ... we're supporting each other through each individual and also in these relays, it's been an amazing, amazing time," Andrew, 22, continued.
Dressel said that the transformation into Team USA doesn't happen "at the end of the meet when you're getting medals and setting world records."
"You become Team USA when you're teaching some of the girls to play poker or you're getting food someplace in Hawaii together," Dressel elaborated, adding, "It's the stupid little moments, it's not the big moments that are caught on cameras, it's the stuff you guys don't see. And that's what makes this team so unique."
Earlier Sunday, Dressel, Zach Apple, Andrew and Ryan Murphy set both the world and Olympic record with a time of 3:26.78 in the 4x100m men's medley relay in their final competition at the Games.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.