Beyond The Lane Lines: Oleksiak Enshrined, Thorpedo Honored

Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’  With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts and general items of interest from athletes around the world in their non-aquatic habitats, helping us get to know them for more than just an event ranking or time on a board. Read on and learn something new this week.

#1 Painting of Penny Oleksiak

A student at Monarch Park Collegiate at the time of her multiple Olympic medal-winning feats in Rio, including 100m freestyle gold Canada’s Penny Oleksiak has now been enshrined with a watercolour painting in her likeness. The 18-year-old’s image depicts the athlete wearing her medals from the Rio Olympics, created by Canadian artist Jeffrey Sprang.

The painting will hang at the school in the halls near the swimming pool entrance. An additional 100 prints will also be available for $200 each. Proceeds from sales will be dispersed to swim programs throughout Toronto.

“I am so pleased with how this turned out,” Sprang said at the unveiling ceremony.

Monarch Park’s principal, Virginia Pang, said, “She [Oleksiak] will continue to grace our school, and hopefully we’ll have another Olympian in the works.”

#2 Local Sheriff Gifts Uniforms for Arkansas Swim Team

Bauxite Swim Team in Saline County, Arkansas has only been in existence for 4 years and are still getting into the groove of continuing to grow and prosper. Consisting if just 8 athletes, the team is responsible for purchasing their own uniforms, including the basic black swimsuit each swimmer wears.

After attending a meet and noticing how Bauxite’s meet attire could use a little sprucing up, Bauxite Deputy and School Resource Officer Jennifer Tarvin took matters into her own hands. She, along with several other deputies, raised money to support the team to the tune of personalized gear. Before a meet on January 17th, swimmers were surprised with boxes of sweatshirts, swim caps, towels and bags unique for each team member.

“We feel like a team now,” said one of the athletes. “Now we can put those in our cars, match and represent our school.”

Coach Dave Carter said, “They [the deputies] have really blessed these kids far beyond what I could ever imagine.”

#3 Bicek Entered into High School Hall of Fame

Suburban Chicago High School Downers Grove North recently inducted its newest Hall of Fame class, which included swimmer Adrienne Bicek. Bicek was the school’s first-ever female to win a state swimming title, capturing the 200m IM victory in 2008. That year she was named Illinois Swimming’s female swimmer of the year and ‘breakthrough swimmer of the year’.

Bicek went on to begin her college career at Georgia before transferring to Michigan where she became a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.

#4 Swim Ireland CEO Recognized as Role Model

Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane was honored at the inaugural Irish Women’s Awards 2019 ceremony which took place on January 21st. Per the ceremony’s site, the celebration is aimed to showcase the contribution of women to various industries and professions such as Law, Medicine, Technology, Arts, Sport, Education and many more. The awards also provided a platform to thank and recognise meritorious ladies for their attributions to our society as well as for the exceptional work they carry out on a daily basis that often remain un-known or even un-appreciated.

There were a total of 31 award categories presented on the night and Keane earned the ‘Women of Influence’ award.

#5 Australian Olympic Legend Ian Thorpe Earns Australian Honors

Multiple Olympic medalist Ian Thorpe of Australia has been honored by his nation with the Companion of the Order of Australia. Praised for his ‘significant service to youth and Indigenous education through charitable initiatives and to swimming, Thorpe was one of nineteen individuals to have received the highest honor this year. Other recipients include actress Olivia Newton-John, singer Kylie Minogue and author Chrissie Foster.

Most recently, Thorpe has been Patron for ReachOut Australia, Ambassador for the 2018 Invictus Games, Ambassador for 2017’s Australian Marriage Equality Campaign and Founder/Director of his own Foundation for Youth.

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About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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