Penny Oleksiak standing on the pool deckMark Blinch/COC
Mark Blinch/COC

Penny Oleksiak

Team Canada Medal Count

Gold medal icon 1
Silver medal icon 2
Bronze medal icon 4


With seven Olympic medals, Penny Oleksiak is Canada’s all-time most decorated Olympian.

Oleksiak had a record-setting Olympic debut at Rio 2016 on several fronts. The 16-year-old became the first Canadian athlete to win four medals at a single summer Games. Those four medals also tied her with Victor Davis as Canada’s most decorated Olympic swimmer of all-time. She set an Olympic record in tying for gold in the women’s 100m freestyle, making her Canada’s first Olympic champion in swimming since Barcelona 1992 and the first Canadian woman to earn that title since Los Angeles 1984. She was also Canada’s youngest Olympic gold medallist ever.

Anchoring the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay to bronze, Oleksiak and teammate Taylor Ruck became the first ever Olympic medallists born in the 2000s. They added another bronze in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay and Oleksiak also won silver in the women’s 100m butterfly. Those achievements in Rio led to Oleksiak being selected as Team Canada’s Closing Ceremony flag bearer. She also won Canada’s Athlete of the Year and the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as the CP Female Athlete of the Year.

Oleksiak won three more medals at Tokyo 2020, starting with a silver in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay for which she was the anchor swimmer. That was followed by a bronze in the women’s 200m freestyle. She also won bronze while swimming the freestyle anchor leg of the women’s 4x100m medley relay. Oleksiak came within 0.07 of a second of another medal when she finished fourth in the 100m freestyle while setting a Canadian record time of 52.59 seconds. She was also fourth with the 4x200m freestyle relay team.

With nine career medals, Oleksiak is tied with Kylie Masse as Canada’s most decorated swimmer all time at the long course World Aquatics Championships.

Oleksiak competed at her first World Aquatics Championships in 2017, winning bronze medals with the mixed 4x100m freestyle and mixed 4x100m medley relay teams. She also advanced to the finals of the 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively. She also competed at the World Junior Swimming Championships in 2017, capturing gold in five relay events. That followed her outstanding performance at the world juniors in 2015 when she won six medals as a 15-year-old. Her 11 career world junior championship medals made her the second-most decorated athlete in meet history.

At the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, Oleksiak won three bronze medals with the women’s 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay teams, breaking the Canadian records in all three events.

Oleksiak won four medals at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships, all in relays. That included silver in the women’s 4x100m freestyle and mixed 4x100m freestyle relays and bronzes in the women’s 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley relays. She just missed an individual medal, placing fourth in the 100m freestyle.

Shortly after, Oleksiak dealt with the first major injury of her career as she underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in her left knee. That put on hold her plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a fundraiser for charity. She returned to competition in May 2023, but then decided it was best to continue her rehab, so she did not compete at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships. In November 2023, she suffered another knee injury that required another surgery. That fall, she also moved her training base to southern California to try something new. Being sidelined did have a silver lining as it gave her time to figure out her interests outside of sport and how to be more patient with herself.

In 2018, Oleksiak won three silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, standing on the podium as a member of the women’s 4x100m medley, 4x100m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay teams. She posted top-five finishes in the 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle events.

A Little More About Penny

Getting into the Sport: Learned to swim at age 9 because she enjoyed swimming in the backyard with friends… Outside Interests: Enjoys reading, biking, playing with her dog… Odds and Ends: Collects Starbucks mugs for her mom and Hawaiian shirts for her dad when travelling… Travels with a grey blankie that is her good luck charm… Older brother Jamie is an NHL defenceman… Older sister Hayley is a former NCAA rower…

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
Rio 2016Swimming100m Freestyle - WomenGold
Rio 2016Swimming100m Butterfly - WomenSilver
Rio 2016Swimming4x100m Freestyle Relay - WomenBronze
Rio 2016Swimming4x200m Freestyle Relay - WomenBronze
Rio 2016Swimming4x100m Medley Relay - Women5
Tokyo 2020Swimming100m Freestyle - Women4
Tokyo 2020Swimming200m Freestyle - WomenBronze
Tokyo 2020Swimming4x100m Freestyle Relay - WomenSilver
Tokyo 2020 Swimming 4x200m Freestyle Relay - Women4
Tokyo 2020Swimming4x100m Medley Relay - WomenBronze

Notable International Results

Olympic Games: 2020 - BRONZE (200m freestyle), 4th (100m freestyle), SILVER (4x100m freestyle relay), BRONZE (4x100m medley relay), 4th (4x200m freestyle); 2016 - BRONZE (4x100m freestyle relay), SILVER (100m butterfly), BRONZE (4x200m freestyle relay), GOLD (100m freestyle), 5th (4x100m medley relay)

World Aquatics Championships: 2022 - SILVER (4x100m freestyle relay), SILVER (4x100m mixed freestyle relay), BRONZE (4x100m medley relay), BRONZE (4x200m freestyle relay), 4th (100m freestyle), 16th (200m freestyle); 2019 – BRONZE (4x100m freestyle relay), BRONZE (4x200m freestyle relay), BRONZE (4x100m medley relay), 6th (50m butterfly), 6th (200m freestyle), 4th (4x100m mixed freestyle relay); 2017 – 6th (100m freestyle), 4th (100m butterfly), 5th (50m butterfly), 4th (4x100m freestyle relay), 4th (4x100m medley relay), BRONZE (4x100m mixed medley relay), BRONZE (4x100m mixed freestyle relay)

Commonwealth Games: 2018 – SILVER (4x100m freestyle relay), SILVER (4x200m freestyle relay), SILVER (4x100m medley relay), 4th (50m butterfly), 4th (100m butterfly), 5th (100m freestyle)

World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships: 2015 – GOLD (4x100m mixed freestyle relay), SILVER (50m butterfly), SILVER (100m butterfly), SILVER (100m freestyle), SILVER (4x200m freestyle relay), BRONZE (4x100m freestyle relay), 5th (4x100m mixed medley relay), 5th (4x100m medley relay), 14th (50m freestyle)