penny oleksiak high school

Penny Oleksiak throws Twitter shade at high school teacher who told her to quit swimming

Fresh off making history at the Tokyo Olympics to bring home three new medals (for a career total of seven), Canadian Olympic swimmer Penny Oleksiak took to Twitter with some thoughts about a former high school teacher who — get this — actually encouraged her to quit swimming back in the day.

Say what you will about "taking the high road," but there's something so enjoyable about the vindication that comes from proving someone wrong — especially when that someone once said you didn't have what it takes to achieve the kind of rare, highly-coveted success you just did.


"I just googled 'Canada’s most decorated Olympian' and my name came up," tweeted the 21-year-old athlete just after noon on Tuesday.

"I want to thank that teacher in high school who told me to stop swimming to focus on school [because] swimming wouldn't get me anywhere. This is what dreams are made of."

Petty as it might seem, this type of thing really is a dream come true for people who've had to deal with naysayers discouraging them in the past. And Oleksiak made perfectly clear that her message was not aimed at all teachers, but at one individual person.

"Also in reference to my last tweet no shade at all towards teachers in general, my sister is a teacher and I see her inspiring kids everyday," she clarified on Twitter around 1:30 p.m.

"Most of my teachers saw the vision and pushed me towards it. That one who constantly dragged me down though, WOAT [Worst Of All Time.]"

With her latest collection of medals from Tokyo, Oleksiak now holds the title of most medals won by a Canadian at the Olympic Games, summer or winter.

In other words, as previously mentioned, the one time Monarch Park Collegiate Institute student is now the most-decorated Canadian Olympian of all time.

Lead photo by

Penny Oleksiak

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