Toronto’s Penny Oleksiak becomes Canada’s most decorated summer Olympian with 200-metre freestyle win
Published Tuesday, July 27, 2021 9:48PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 27, 2021 11:48PM EDT
Toronto swimmer Penny Oleksiak has won a bronze medal in the women's 200-metre freestyle contest at Tokyo 2020, claiming her sixth medal to become Canada’s most decorated summer Olympian ever.
Her win also marks the first time Canada has won a medal in the 200-metre freestyle event.
Oleksiak, 21, and her teammates won silver in the women’s 4x100-metre freestyle relay on Sunday.
She is now tied for overall medal wins with Clara Hughes, who won two summer medals in cycling and four winter medals in speedskating, and with Cindy Klassen, who won six medals in speedskating.
To those who have watched the swimmer up close, the milestone comes as no surprise.
“Right from the dive when she popped up I knew it was going to be good,” Oleksiak’s former coach Bill O’Toole told CTV News Toronto following her win.
Oleksiak won bronze in a personal-best time of 1:54.70. Australian Ariarne Titmus won gold while Hong Kong's Siobhan Bernadette Haughey took silver.
“It’s fantastic. I’m really really proud of her and for the longest time I’ve said to anyone who’s willing to listen, I’ve said this is an athlete that’s always going to do Canada proud,” O’Toole said.
Calling her a “phenomenal” athlete, he said Oleksiak truly loves her sport as well.
“She’s amazing,” he said. “She rises to the occasion. She loves to race, she loves the pressure, she loves the whole thing.”
Oleksiak burst onto the Olympic swimming scene at just 16 years old, taking home four medals at the 2016 Rio Games.
With several races still to go in Tokyo, the 21-year-old could yet claim the title of most decorated Canadian Olympian ever.
“The best part is it’s not over yet,” O’Toole said.
- With files from The Canadian Press