American swimmer Caeleb Dressel tossed his relay gold medal to a teammate who didn't get to swim in the final
American swimmer Caeleb Dressel. Tom Pennington / Getty Images
Caeleb Dressel led Team USA to gold in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay at the Olympic Games.
Dressel threw his gold medal at teammate Brooks Curry, who was watching from the stands.
Curry didn't swim in the final, but he was part of the team that qualified for the final.
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Caeleb Dressel got off to a fantastic start in Tokyo 2020 and helped lead Team USA to gold in the men's 4x100 meter freestyle relay on Sunday night.
For Dressel, it was the first of several gold medals in Tokyo 2020 that he hopes will have multiple single gold shots on his Olympic schedule.
After the race, Dressel and his teammates all smiled and took the time to celebrate a stellar interim time from Zach Apple.
"We will never doubt ourselves," said Dressel. "This is how Team USA works."
But even after the big win, Dressel didn't spend much time admiring his gold medal.
Instead, he gave it to a teammate who made the victory possible.
Brooks Curry wasn't one of the four men to swim in the finals, but he swam for Dressel during the team's qualifying runs and helped the team secure their spot in the medal race.
Curry's swim in qualifying helped Dressel stay fresh for the relay finals and his busy schedule of individual races.
After Dressel received his medal, he quickly went to Curry, watched the stands, and tossed him the gold.
"Last night I had the easiest job of all here. I got to see it on TV," said Dressel after the race. "So I felt like [Brooks] deserved this a little more than I did."
It was a thoughtful gesture by Dressel that resulted in Curry being included in the night's victory. While Curry ultimately received his own medal for his role in helping the team up front, he wasn't allowed to attend the awards ceremony as that role is reserved for the four men who swam the finals.
By running over Curry and tossing his medal, Dressel made sure Curry knew he was part of the team.
Though it doesn't always seem like it, swimming is a team sport, and Curry's swimming was crucial for the Americans to start their Olympic stint with a win.
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