There isn't an Olympic gold medal for most celebratory spouse watching from halfway around the world in a pandemic — but if there was, Caeleb Dressel's wife, Meghan, just might have made it onto the podium.
She was joined by Dressel's parents at a watch party in the Florida native's home state and couldn't contain her excitement at his gold medal win (and new Olympic record) in the men's 100m freestyle at the Tokyo Summer Games on Tuesday.
As Dressel finished the race, Meghan screamed, shouted and jumped to cheer for him. And when he hit the wall in first place with a time of 47.02 seconds, she nearly fell over with excitement before bursting into tears of joy.
The tears were mutual. After leaving the pool, Dressel, 24, spoke with his loved ones remotely and grew visibly emotional.
"We love you so much. We're so proud of you," Meghan told him as tears welled in his eyes.
"I cry a lot," Dressel told reporters later. "And so I can't be calling them [my family] every night, you know, exerting that energy, but it's got to be put into my swimming."
"You have to manage your emotions," he said.
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He and Meghan were longtime sweethearts — even training together in their high school swim program — before he proposed in 2019.
Caeleb's big sister, Kaitlyn, shared photos from the proposal at the time and wrote on Instagram that "Hands down - this was my FAVORITE surprise proposal TO DATE. My little brother & one of my best friends get to spend the rest of their lives together!!!"
"It means a lot," Dressel told reporters after his race. "I knew that weight was on my shoulders. I'd won [Olympic] relay medals but never individual, so it was really special."
He later said it felt "different" to win his first individual Olympic gold medal.
"I didn't want to admit it but now that I did it, I can," he said. "It's a lot different. You can't rely on anyone else. It's just you and the water, there's no one there to bail you out. It's tough."
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images
Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images
This gold medal comes three days after Dressel, along with teammates Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker and Zach Apple, placed first in the 4x100m freestyle relay on Monday with a time of 3:08.97. Just 1.14 seconds behind the Americans was Italy and 1.25 seconds behind was third-place finisher Australia.
In Tokyo, Dressel — who won two golds in the 2016 Games — could win six more.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.