U.S. swimmer Caeleb Dressel, who’s been dubbed “The Next Michael Phelps” at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as he’s competing for a medal in seven different events, took a break from his intense training this past year to marry his high school sweetheart, Meghan Haila Dressel.
Dressel, who nabbed two gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and holds multiple world records from the 2017 World Championships, first met the woman who would become his wife when they were teenagers in the same swim club, the Bolles School Sharks in Jacksonville, Florida per Swimming World Magazine.
Here’s what you need to know about Meghan Haila Dressel, Caeleb Dressel’s wife:
1. Haila & Dressel Got Married on Valentine’s Day Eve
The couple initially started dating in 2013 and got engaged in November 2019. Dressel got down on one knee to propose in their hometown of Green Cove Springs and slipped a Jack Sutton-designed ring on her finger.
After the 2020 Olympics were delayed, they used the COVID quarantine to plan the wedding, which took place on February 13, 2021.
Photos of the stunning affair, which took place at Bowing Oaks Plantation in Jacksonville, Florida, were posted on Instagram by both Mr. and Mrs. Dressel, the latter of whom called it “the best day of our lives.”
2. Meghan & Caeleb Dressel Bought a House Together in May 2020
A year before they officially tied the knot, Dressel and Haila moved in together. She wrote about the momentous occasion on Instagram, noting how it was wild to go through all these momentous occasions amid coronavirus:
Amidst all the fear and chaos that this time has brought, something pretty amazing has happened too… Feeling so incredibly blessed that we’ve found our perfect place to call home and start our lives together. Can’t wait until it’s safe again to have all the people we love together to celebrate under our new roof. God is good, people. He is so, so good.
3. Haila Has Multiple Degrees & Works as a Therapist
In addition to planning a wedding and buying a new home in 2020, Meghan Haila graduated from University Florida, where she earned a Master’s and Specialist degrees. She previously attended Florida State for her undergraduate degree, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Services and Psychology.
During her time at FSU, in addition to her double major, Haila swam for the Seminoles, Team USA reported.
Now, Haila is focusing on her career as a marriage and family counseling services, according to her Linkedin profile. She wrote, “with the additional coursework for Mental Health Counseling and Play Therapy. I am an enthusiastic learner, adaptable, and creative thinker who is driven by a passion for helping children and their families find empowerment, acceptance, and genuine connection that paves the way for positive life changes.”
4. Haila Admitted It’s Difficult Having a Partner Who’s Training for the Olympics
While Haila was a competitive swimmer herself in college, she competed in the ACC Championships in the 200 IM, 100, and 200 breaststroke races, the wife of the “Next Michael Phelps” previously opened up to Odyssey about the difficulties of having a partner training for the Olympics.
“It’s not always easy, but I’m a firm believer in that if you want to spend time with someone, you make the time, Haila said back in 2016. “Both of us just make time for each other whenever we can and we’ve made it work for two years now being across state. I think because we’ve had to deal with distance, it’s made us stronger as a couple.”
5. Haila Is Dressel’s Biggest Fan
Despite the pressures of a demanding training schedule and the amount of time Dressel must be away from home, Haila remains his biggest fan. She calls herself “Team Dressel forever.”
While her husband may go on to make Olympic history this summer in Tokyo, Haila still sees Dressel as her “goofball.”
She told Odyssey, “Everything just feels so surreal. To me, he is just Caeleb. The same guy I grew up swimming with and the same goofball that runs around with a chicken hat on. He is just the same Caeleb to me and it is weird seeing him on TV and different news posts about him on social media and stuff. Honestly, the biggest change was the amount of random teenage girls that now follow me on Instagram… I see you creepin’, ladies! [laughter].”