Penny Oleksiak’s family reflect after becoming Canada’s most decorated summer Olympian – .

Penny Oleksiak’s family reflect after becoming Canada’s most decorated summer Olympian – .

With 21-year-old Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak on the cusp of being the most decorated Olympian in this country’s history, her family will be cheering from their home in Toronto.

” It was funny. I would say we’re probably more stressed out than Penny, ”Penny’s mom Alison Oleksiak told Global News with a laugh.

“I think, you know, being the viewer is a bit of a different perspective, I guess. “

Penny’s sister Hayley Oleksiak said every time she spoke to him for the past few days she was “very excited and motivated”.

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“If you talk to her, it’s like, ‘I’m going to get the next thing,’” she said.

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“This is probably the most motivated and the most positive that it has sounded in a long time. “

Penny has won two medals at the Tokyo Olympics so far – one silver and one bronze – bringing her career total to six.

Wednesday’s bronze medal made her the most decorated Canadian summer Olympic athlete and also tied her with the most decorated Canadian athletes of all Olympics, joining speed skater Cindy Klassen and the cyclist and speed skater Clara Hughes in the record books.

Penny will have the chance to become the most decorated Canadian Olympian of all time just before 10 p.m. ET on Thursday when she swims in the 100-meter freestyle final.

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Back in Toronto, the Oleksiak family said they developed a routine watching Penny compete in Tokyo.

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“My mum is very superstitious so she makes us all come to the same place now every day because after her first race went well, and … my mum insisted we all come to the same place,” said Hayley.

Family members noted that Penny was inspired by American swimmer Michael Phelps, who is the most decorated Olympian of all time.

They said she spoke to him regularly and that he reassured her that she didn’t need to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders, stressing that she would have to compete for herself.

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“I think she struggled a little bit at first because I think she – I mean she was so young and she didn’t want to let anyone down and she took a lot on her,” Alison said.

“I think she heard that from Michael Phelps took a whole different perspective. “

When Penny competed in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, she was only 16 years old. She ultimately won four medals.

Alison said Penny now enjoys sharing her experiences with some of the young athletes she competes with.

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She said Penny and the rest of the Canadian Olympic team are proud of the way they have played so far in Tokyo.

Alison said she is also happy to see the positive impact Penny’s accomplishments have on young Canadian women.

“As a mother and as a woman… just seeing girls believe it’s something they can do, it’s so much our experience in the sport is the sport of the major leagues, which is so dominated. by men, and yet there are such incredible things that women can do, ”said Alison.

– With files from Morganne Campbell and Sean Boynton

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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