Four-time Olympic medalist Penny Oleksiak announced Thursday via Twitter and Instagram her partnership with ASICS Canada. The deal is reported to be four years. ASICS is a multi-national corporation specializing in sports footwear and apparel.
Super happy to announce my partnership with @ASICSCanada !! pic.twitter.com/AwavgSmQ7I
— Penny Oleksiak (@OleksiakPenny) July 6, 2017
This is the 17-year-old Canadian’s first major endorsement deal, suggesting she is opting for the pro route over college swimming in the NCAA. She still has one year of high school left. Note that Canada’s USports organization, which is the equivalent of the NCAA, has much less stringent rules on amateurism and allows athletes to compete even if they’re professionals.
Oleksiak was one of the biggest surprises of the 2016 Olympic Games, claiming an astonishing four medals at just 16 years of age. One of those included a gold medal, a tie with American Simone Manuel, in the women’s 100 freestyle which featured the newly minted world record holder Cate Campbell of Australia and the defending champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands. She became Canada’s first athlete to win four medals at a summer Games, Canada’s youngest ever Olympic champion, and was selected to carry the flag at the closing ceremonies.
In a release from ASICS Canada, they stated: “Penny is an inspiration, and her tenacity, skill and positive competitive spirit aligns perfectly with the direction ASICS is heading in Canada. She embodies the athletic spirit we celebrate as a brand, as well as naturally demonstrates sportsmanship,” says Richard Sullivan, President of ASICS Canada. “Having watched Penny compete at Rio 2016, she not only made the country proud, but displayed her passion for sport. We couldn’t be happier to have her join the ASICS team and be a part of her training journey.”
Oleksiak believes working with a supportive partner who believes in her will be a big benefit as she works towards the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
“As I prepare for Tokyo 2020, I am thrilled to partner with a sportswear giant like ASICS. Working with a supportive partner that believes in who I am and what I need enables me to focus on evolving as an athlete,” said Oleksiak. “ASICS was a natural fit for me, because of the access I will now have to the best technology in both footwear and performance apparel. Land training is critical to competitive swimming, and this partnership will enable me to reach new levels as a competitor.”
Oleksiak is gearing up for the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, which begin July 23rd. She has qualified to swim the 100 free and 100 fly individually, the two individual races she medalled in last summer, and will definitely be a fixture on the Canadian relays.