Penny Oleksiak Signs Four-Year Partnership With ASICS Canada

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.

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.

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bobo gigi

And let’s start again the usual debate about turning pro or swimming in college….


The following events were won by current or former NCAA athletes at last summers Olympic Games: Men: 50 free 100 back 200 back 100 fly 4×100 free relay 4×100 medley relay 4×200 free relay (7/16, if we expand that to all medallists it goes up to 13/16) Women: 100 free 200 free 400 free 800 free 100 back 200 back 100 brst 200 IM 400 IM 4×200 free relay 4×100 medley relay (11/16, if expand that to all medallists it goes up to 14/16) So I guess just go ahead and keep bashing the system that clearly doesn’t work… (disclaimer: not saying this is the wrong choice for her at all, I wish her all the success in the world… Read more »

Steve Nolan

Uhh…she won a couple medals and hasn’t swam in college?


well, for example, Ledecky won a lot of those medals before she went to Stanford, so saying NCAA made her a champion is misleading

M Palota

Not a debate here in Canada. As others have noted, she’s still eligible to swim for a Canadian university. Penny, if you’re reading this, you’d look great in Thunderbird blue & gold and the weather on the west coast is way, way better than Toronto! 🙂

Swim Nerd

That’s the real discussion: NCAA rules.
NCAA needs to allow “professionals” to compete in NCAA sports and attend US universities. I know they were trying to prevent corruption, but obviously basketball/football has serious issues even they try to restrict athletes to amateurs. Embrace professional sponsors.

Swim Nerd

A great swimmer is a great swimmer. However, I do think SCY and LCM are 2 different beasts. Swimmers who have success in Olympic LC should stay with LCM if he/she is a serious international contender.


Why? Clearly, the NCAA system is doing a great job preparing these guys to do well in both SCY and LCM. I don’t see any reason why it needs to be strictly one or the other.


One Cent Oleksiak <3

bobo gigi

And as usual I’m gonna be destroyed by most of American swim fans present on swimswam because my non-American eye sees that as a smart decision when you’re one of the best in your sport.


100% agree! Canada has such a great system right now why not cash in when she can! She has everything she needs at the HPC so she really doesn’t need the NCAA like athletes of the past did


Totally agree. She is Canadian and can still swim in college. The NCAA is not always the best route for Canadian swimmers.


Agreed. The college system is great for finding promising high school swimmers and turning them into some of the best swimmers in the world, but if you’re already winning multiple Olympic medals, why not stick with what’s clearly working and make a little money?


lol calm down bobo. why would americans think a born and bred canadian shouldn’t go pro and swim NCAA instead? what would be the benefit of that …..other than selfish reasons of wanting to see her destroy yards times (ha)? she instantly became super sports royalty in Canada (population 35 million) last summer, its a no brainer

Steve Nolan

She’s not from America, I dunno why people would expect her to go to college here.


There are plenty of Canadian swimmers who are in, or have gone to college in the states, like Chantal Van Landeghem for example.

Coach John

there are less and less due to the economic climate and stringent NCAA rules. I recently visited a womens Div.1 program and spoke with the coach and he all but admited he has stopped actively recruiting Canadians.

with Canadian schools being evermore affordable and better and better facilities coupled with a growing movement towards pushing athletes to stay local not surprised she signed early and cashed in.


I’m not denying that, but it does happen.


Why exactly are you even bringing this up? This is as random as saying Kyle Chalmers going to NCAAs is wrong. What’s the point of even mentioning it.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times - SCM (LCM) 50 FR - 24.56 (25.12) 100 FR - 53.58 (56.70) 200 FR - 1:56.07 (2:04.29) 1500 …

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