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November 28, 2021 November 28, 2021

Olympians Penny Oleksiak and Andre De Grasse continue to amaze Canadians

Posted on August 11, 2021 by Taber Times

By Cole Parkinson
Taber Times
cparkinson@tabertimes.com

Two of the most electric Canadian summer athletes continued their dominance at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics — Penny Oleksiak and Andre De Grasse.

The legend of Penny Oleksiak has continued to grow after the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

After Oleksiak, 16 at the time, stole the show during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro where she won two bronze medals, a silver, and a gold medal in the 100-metre freestyle, Canadians were no doubt wondering how she’d follow up that performance.

And while we had to wait an extra year to watch her get back in the Olympic pool, Penny once again brought home several medals.

At 21, Oleksiak entered the 2020 Olympics as one of the must-watch performers at the Games, and it’s truly hard to believe she’s accomplished so much at such a young age.

In the first event, she was the anchor leg for the Canadians in the four by 100-metre freestyle relay along with teammates Kayla Sanchez, Taylor Ruck, and Rebecca Smith.

After qualifying for the final, the team swam to a silver medal after posting a 3:32.78 time.

She next entered the pool for the 200-metre freestyle, which was an event she did not compete for at the 2016 games, but despite this, she once again qualified for the final.

Once again, Penny put on a show for everyone back in Canada as she set a personal best time in the 200-metre freestyle by posting a 1:54.70, which was good enough for a bronze medal.

At that point, she then tied Clara Hughes and Cindy Klassen for the most Olympic medals won by a Canadian.

Again, she’s 21, which is truly unbelievable.

At 21, I was goofing off with my friends and just entering my second year of college.

The Olympics seem to get younger and younger participants every year, and Penny no doubt has inspired younger Canadians that no matter your age, you can still pursue your dream and qualify for the Olympics.

After taking her first bronze, Oleksiak participated in the four by 200-metre freestyle where the Canadians finished in fourth place.

She also finished fourth in the 100-metre freestyle.

Not to finish on a lower note, the Canadian team participated in their final event — the four by 100-metre medley race where they qualified for the final and ended with the bronze medal.

So, by the end of the swimming events for the 2020 Summer Olympics, Oleksiak officially became the most decorated Canadian summer olympian.

Not bad for a 21-year old eh?

Now looking at De Grasse, the 26-year-old competed in three events this past Olympics.

The first was the 100-metre, which led to a couple of great runs in the qualifiers (9.91) and the semi-final (9.98) and a shot at the gold in the final.

Despite a slow start out of the blocks, De Grasse was able to overcome it on his way to a bronze medal with a time 0f 9.89, which was also a personal best for him.

After the 100-metre, De Grasse prepared for the 200-metre, which saw him easily make his way to the final.

With the bright lights shining, De Grasse posted not only his personal best time of 19.62, but it was also a Canadian best and it was good enough for the gold medal.

With two medals already under his belt, he and the four by 100-metre relay team of Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, and Brendon Rodney were after one more before the end of the games.

After a great qualifying performance from the team that saw the Canadians finish in second, they were headed to the final with another medal chance.

With De Grasse running anchor, the Canadians were able to secure the bronze medal.

So, with all said and done, De Grasse now has six total Olympic medals, which leaves him just one short of Oleksiak.

And with age on his side, you’d have to think he’s got at least two more games ahead of him.

He’s another Canadian athlete that is must-watch whenever he’s on TV and when the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics roll around, he’ll be one of the most electrifying home country athletes to watch.

With the 2020 Games officially wrapped this past weekend, Canada finished with seven golds, six silvers, and 11 bronze, which was good for 11th in the country standings.

A huge shoutout to every single Canadian who went to Tokyo this summer, you made us all incredibly proud.

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