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There’s nothing like a 16-year-old Olympian to make you feel like you’ve never accomplished anything in your life. Penny Oleksiak has pretty much redefined the Canadian swim game and she can’t even drive yet. In an Olympics that have been dominated by Canadian women–seriously, no men have meddled yet and we’re on Day Seven–Oleksiak is bringing home not only four of Canada’s eight medals, she’s bringing home our first gold from Rio.

Her amazing accomplishments in the past 24 hours don’t end there either. Our girl didn’t just medal, she broke the current Olympic record for the 100m Freestyle (at 52.70) along with fellow gold-winner, Team USA’s Simone Manuel (also making history as the first African American to win gold at a solo swimming event). Her time also broke the standing Canadian record for the event (obviously). Oleksiak became the youngest Canadian to win gold at the Olympics and the first Canadian to medal four times in one summer games. We’re exhausted just thinking about it!

A week ago, Penny wasn’t expected to even medal in these Olympics. She didn’t qualify for the Pan Am Games last year and being so young, this was just supposed to be good experience for Tokyo 2020. Even a few seconds before she won gold, it didn’t look like she was claiming a medal at all in the 100m; she was in seventh place at the halfway mark. Penny came from behind to tie with Manuel and snatch that gold. She didn’t even realize what she’d done until after she’d caught her breath. She’s too adorable.


Her other three medals consist of a silver for the 100m Butterfly (which looks like one of the most inconvenient swim strokes, in our opinion), and bronzes in 4X100 and 4X200 Freestyle relays. Plus, she’s not even done yet. Penny has an opportunity to tie the Canadian record for number of medals won at a single Olympic games on Saturday with the 4X100 Medley. Canadian Olympian Cindy Klassen currently holds the record for her Speed Skating wins at Turin 2006. With the way Oleksiak (and the Canadian women in general) is swimming, we wouldn’t be surprised if she snagged another piece of hardware in these games.


We’re so proud of our little Canadian superstar. Should we start calling her the Female-Canadian-Michael-Phelps?

WATCH: Many other female Canadian athletes are making their way to the podium in Rio, including back-to-back trampoline gold medallist Rosie MacLennan.


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