Four-time Olympic medalist Penny Oleksiak will rejoin her home team, the Toronto Swim Club, after two successful years training under Ben Titley at the High Performance Centre – Ontario. The news was announced by Swimming Canada this morning via press release.
She will be back under the tutelage of TSC head coach Bill O’Toole, who coached Oleksiak as an age-grouper up until the end of the 2014-15 season. Under O’Toole, she won six medals at the 2015 World Junior Championships before joining the HPC for the Olympic year.
“I’m excited to be returning to the Toronto Swim Club to continue my training and I look forward to future collaborations with coach Ben Titley as I prepare for Tokyo 2020,” Oleksiak said. “I would like to thank the people at the High Performance Centre – Ontario, and in particular my head coach, for their invaluable contribution to my successes these past two years.”
“I’m very excited to be working with Penny again,” O’Toole said. “We have always had a great relationship and shared in many successes. I am looking forward to working with Swimming Canada to advance Penny’s career on the international scene.”
Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson said they’ll continue to fully support Oleksiak and are familiar working with O’Toole.
“Swimming Canada Senior Coach Martyn Wilby and I are already visiting Toronto in September and we will now work on planning for Penny with her coach Bill and help develop her plan,” Atkinson said. “We know Bill very well. Swimming Canada and I have worked with Bill in the lead up to the World Junior Championships in 2015, and on coach development programs. We have a great working relationship with Bill.”
Titley spoke about the great success they’ve had over the last two years, and that his door will always remain open to support Oleksiak as she progresses.
“Penny is a great athlete and we achieved great things together in the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Ontario. I would like to thank all those who have made the last few years of Penny’s swimming so successful, including her current and past teammates, and the staff here at the HPC-O,” Titley said. “I wish her and her coach all the best. I look forward to working with them on national teams and know she can do great things in the future. My door will always remain open to supporting this young woman as she progresses.”
Despite the departure of Oleksiak, the HPC – Ontario remains stacked with talent, with two-time Olympic medalist Taylor Ruck recently joining the team that already featured Olympic medalist Michelle Toro and 2017 World Championship team members Kayla Sanchez and Rebecca Smith. Ruck, Sanchez and Smith teamed up with Oleksiak at the recent World Junior Championships to go 3-for-3 on the female relays, all in junior world record fashion.