Canadian born Penny Oleksiak starting turning heads when she was just 12. Swimming for Toronto Swim Club, under coach Bill O’Toole, Oleksiak has been racking up the medals. Raised in an athletic family, Oleksiak’s brother plays professional hockey for the Dallas Stars, and her sister is a competitive rower at Northeastern University.
Oleksiak represented Canada at the 2015 Australian Age Group Championship where she tallied eight medals. At the 2015 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, won silver in the 100m freestyle, losing to Taylor Ruck who set a new Championship Record, 54.65 and 53.92 respectively. She also swam impressive 50m (26.45) and 100m butterflies (58.50), again taking silver in both. The gold medal winner, Rikako Ikee, had to set wo new records to stand on top of the podium.
At the Speedo Eastern Canadian Open in February of 2016, she swam notable times in the 50m freestyle, 25.47, 100m butterfly, 58.44, and 200m butterfly, 2:14.40.
Going into the Canadian Olympic Trials, which start April 5th, Oleksiak is seeded third in the 100m butterfly, seventh in the 200m freestyle, 1:59.92, sixth in the 100m freestyle, 54.51, and 13th in the 50m freestyle. Depending on how Canada picks their swimmers for individual and relay events, we may see this youngster in Rio.
Canadian Olympic Trials
Oleksiak earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic team by winning the 100 M butterfly and setting a new Canadian Record. Her 56.99 is the 5th fastest in the world this year. A remarkable feat for a 15 year old who has only been swimming for five years. Additionally, Oleksiak qualified for the Olympics by winning the 100M Free with a Canadian Record of 53.31, well ahead of the Olympic Qualifying time of 54.43. Oleksiak will likely be on at least two Canadian relays in Rio.
2016 Rio Olympics
The youngster proved she is a not only a force for the future, but also an Olympic medalist today. Oleksiak won the silver medal finishing behind World Record Sarah Sjostrom., with a time of 56.46. Oleksiak also tied Simone Manuel in the 100m Freestyle taking home Canada’s first swimming gold medal since Mark Tewksbury in 1992. Manuel and Oleksiak set an Olympic Record in the 100M Free. The youngest Canadian Gold medallist for Canada, Oleksiak also became the first Canadian athlete to win four medals at a single summer Games. Anchoring the 4x100m freestyle relay to bronze, Oleksiak and teammate Taylor Ruck became the first ever Olympic medallists born in the 21st century. They added another bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay and Oleksiak also won silver in the 100m butterfly.
2016 FINA World SCM Championships
Oleksiak finished third in the 100M Free with a time of 52.01, just .20 behind first place finisher, Brittany Elmslie of Australia. Combining with Team Canada mates Michelle Williams, Sandrine Manville, and Taylor Ruck, the foursome won Gold in the 4X50M Free Relay, and then combined again with Ruck, Katerine Savard and Kennedy Goss to win another Gold in the 4X200M Free Relay.In the 4X100M Medley Relay, Oleksiak and the team of Kylie Masse, Rachel Nicol and Katerine Savard won Silver.