EDMONTON – Penny Oleksiak will not compete at next month’s Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.
The quadruple Olympic medallist won the 100-m freestyle and 100-m butterfly at this week’s Canadian Swimming Trials in Edmonton. After qualifying for the team, the 18-year-old from Toronto has come to a joint decision together with Swimming Canada’s high performance leadership team, that a break would better allow her to return to her highly rigorous training schedule in September.
“Together we have worked with Penny and her support team to look at a plan for the future. Right now she will be taking a summer break following Trials. The intent is for her to return to training in September so she starts the final two years of the quad refreshed and ready to do the best she can representing herself and Canada,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson.
Oleksiak rose to stardom at age 16 when she won four medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – the first Canadian summer Olympian to ever accomplish the feat. She went on to win four more at the Windsor 2016 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and won the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s top athlete, among many accolades. She followed up with two relay bronze medals at the Budapest 2017 FINA World Championships, and three relay silvers at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, in April.
“Penny has accomplished more at her age than any young swimmer in Canadian history and it’s been a very busy two years since Rio. She is a young woman with incredible potential as we look ahead to the two year push towards Tokyo,” Atkinson said.
Oleksiak joins Olympic medallist Katerine Savard in taking a break from the national team this summer. Atkinson pointed out that it has been a successful strategy in the past for several other swimmers including Canadian Olympic medallist Brittany MacLean, who opted out of the 2015 world championships and returned to win a medal in Rio.