Summer McIntosh is an Olympic swimmer and world champion who broke over 50 Canadian age-group records by age 15.
2021 Olympic Trials
Even before Canada’s Olympic Trials in 2021, McIntosh registered a head-turning swim that would eventually qualify her for her first Olympics. The then 14-year-old McIntosh swam a 4:05.13 on May 27, 2021, which was a major PB and a new Canadian Age Group Record. In the absence of any FINA A cuts in the women’s 400 free final at the Trials on Day 1, Swimming Canada had the discretion to name McIntosh to the team based on her result from a few weeks ago, which they ultimately would after Summer qualified for the team outright.
On Day 2 of Trials, McIntosh swam the 200 free, beating her training partner and 100 free Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak to win in 1:56.19. The following day, McIntosh added to her event lineup with a win in the 800 free in another PB of 8:29.49. McIntosh, at 14, was the youngest person named to the Canadian Olympic team that year.
2020 Olympic Games
In Tokyo, McIntosh continued to improve. In the 400 free, she placed 4th in the final, clocking a 4:02.42 for a new Canadian national record. In the 200 free, she advanced out of prelims with a 1:56.11 (another PB), but placed 9th in the semi-final (1:56.82), just missing the final.
In the 4×200 free relay, she led off for Canada in another PB, 1:55.77, helping them to a 4th place finish in the final in a new Canadian record (7:43.77). In her last event, the 800 free, she placed 11th in the prelims (8:25.04) and did not advance to the final.
2021 Short Course World Championships
In Abu Dhabi, McIntosh earned her first major international medals. Individually, she won silver in the 400 free, touching at 3:57.87. She also swam prelims of the 800 free early in the meet, breaking the Canadian record at 8:13.37, but scratched the final to focus on the rest of her meet.
McIntosh helped Canada to gold and a new America’s record in the 4×200 free relay with a 1:54.30 lead-off leg as well as a silver in the 4×100 medley relay by swimming the freestyle leg in the prelims.
World Jr Records/2022 Canadian Trials
McIntosh once again had an eye-popping swim in 2022 before Canada’s major trials in April. At a trials prep meet in March, she became the #3 performer of all-time in the 400 IM, clocking a 4:29.12 and dipping under the world jr record to boot (however, it was not ratified by FINA so it will not officially count). But she didn’t stop there, when just the next day, she broke another Canadian and world jr record, this time the 200 fly at 2:05.81.
McIntosh followed this up with a massive Trials performance, winning the 400 free (4:01.59) on day 1, the 200 free (1:55.39) on day 3, the 200 fly (2:07.60) on day 4, and the 400 IM (4:34.86) on day 5.
First Major Suit Deal
On June 10, 2022, Summer announced she had signed with Funkita, marking her first major sponsorship deal at 15 years old.
2022 World Championships
In her first finals swim in Budapest, McIntosh made history. She became the youngest woman ever (and only 4th woman ever) to dip under the 4:00 mark, clocking 3:59.39 to take silver behind Katie Ledecky.
McIntosh’s next individual event was the 200 Fly, where she not only moved comfortably to the final but did so as the top seed, breaking her own world jr record in semis with a 2:05.79. In the final on day 5, she continued to drop, clocking a 2:05.20 to capture gold and her first world title. Later in that session, McIntosh led off Canada’s bronze medal 4×200 free relay in 1:54.79, another PB, jr world record, and time fast enough to win the women’s individual event.
On the last day of the meet, Summer competed in the 400 IM, where she battled fiercely with USA’s Katie Grimes. McIntosh ultimately came to the wall first, touching in 4:32.04 to earn her 2nd world title and world junior record of the week.