Penny Oleksiak, Canada’s most decorated Olympian, has undergone surgery to repair a meniscus tear in her knee. Posting on her Instagram account, Oleksiak says that she suffered a bucket handle meniscus tear while visiting Orlando, Florida. She was able to get back to Canada and undergo surgery to repair the tear within a week. Oleksiak was treated at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, where she lives and trains.
In her post, Oleksiak says the recovery time will probably “be the longest and most tentative one I’ve ever had to deal with.” She also notes that she’s “super excited to use this time to recover properly and get stronger in the process.”
The 22-year-old is coming off a success World Championships this summer, where she racked up 4 medals, bringing her total World Champs medal count to 9, making her the most decorated Canadian at World Champs as well. Individually, Oleksiak had a bit of a rough Championships, finishing 4th in the final of the women’s 100 free, and getting DQ’d in semifinals of the 200 free for a false start. That didn’t affect her relay performances, however, as she split 52.51 on Canada’s women’s 4×100 free relay, which was the fastest split in the event.
She also swam on the mixed 4×100 free relay, mixed 4×100 medley relay, and women’s 4×100 medley relay, helping Canada to medals in all 3.
In addition to having now become Canada’s most decorated Olympian, Oleksiak became Canada’s youngest Olympic Champion ever when she tied Simone Manuel for gold in the women’s 100 free at the 2016 Olympics. At those same 2016 Olympics, Oleksiak became the first Canadian to win 4 medals in a single Summer Olympics.
Oleksiak had planned a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania this month as a fundraiser to fight world hunger, which she now won’t be able to do after sustaining the injury.