2020 Tokyo Olympics: Canadian Medalist Takes Jab at Teacher Who Doubted Her

by Jacklyn Krol

Swimmer Penny Oleksiak had one thing to say to one of her former educators after medaling at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The 21-year-old shared her thoughts about her naysayer via Twitter on Tuesday. Doing so, she discovered a surprising fact about herself in the process.

“I just googled ‘Canada’s most decorated Olympian’ and my name came up. I want to thank that teacher in high school who told me to stop swimming to focus on school bc swimming wouldn’t get me anywhere. This is what dreams are made of,” she tweeted.

Oleksiak then clarified her comment that she has no malice towards educators.

“Also in reference to my last tweet no shade at all towards teachers in general,” she added. “My sister is a teacher and I see her inspiring kids every day… Most of my teachers saw the vision and pushed me towards it. That one who constantly dragged me down though, WOAT.” WOAT is an acronym for worst of all time.

During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Oleksiak took home three medals. She won the silver medal for the 4x100m freestyle relay. Additionally, she took home the bronze for the 200m freestyle and 4x100m medley.

She previously competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics. During which, she secured four other medals. She won bronze in both the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays. In addition, she won the silver for the 100m butterfly and gold for the 100m freestyle.

Penny’s Time at the Olympics

Penny wasn’t active on social media during her time in Japan. She focused on her competitions. However, she updated fans with a series of photos from her time at the 2020 Olympics. She has returned to her home in Toronto and settled back in enough to do a photo dump. She shared selfies with teammates, photos from the Olympic village, and with her new medals.

“Thank you so much to everyone who supported me throughout this Olympics. I felt SO confident, loved and supported at this one and I left being motivated for the next. There are no words to describe how it feels to represent Canada, but I wouldn’t want to be the most decorated Olympian anywhere else in the world,” she wrote.

Oleksiak thanked her numerous sponsors for the Olympics before talking about her journey to become a professional athlete. She called the process “daunting” and only achievable with a great support system. She noted that her team “cares about me as an athlete as well as a person” which in turn, makes it easier for her. She claimed that she couldn’t train or focus at such an elite level without her support system behind her.

“I hope you all enjoyed watching and are ready for all the cool stuff I’m gonna be doing the next while,” she concluded.