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Oleksiak 'thanks' high school teacher that advised her to stop swimming

Last Updated Aug 3, 2021 at 3:31 pm EDT

Canada's Penny Oleksiak shows off her bronze medal won in the women's 200m freestyle final event during the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Canada’s most decorated Olympian is singling out a former high school teacher; but not in a good way.

Swimmer Penny Oleksiak, who recently made history for Canada in the pool, took to Twitter to share some unfiltered thoughts on her accomplishment.

“I just googled ‘Canada’s most decorated Olympian,’ and my name came up. I want to thank that teacher in high school who told me to stop swimming to focus on school bc [because] swimming wouldn’t get me anywhere,” Oleksiak wrote.

“This is what dreams are made of.”

Canada’s women capped Olympic swimming events with a bronze medal in the medley relay Sunday and produced a historic seventh career medal for Oleksiak.

“I’m glad I didn’t win it in an individual [event] because this just makes it ten times sweeter knowing that I’ve accomplished this history with girls that are also making history,” Oleksiak said after the race.

“This is only the beginning for Team Canada and swimming. We were young in 2016 [at the Rio Olympics], and we’re still young and going to hit our peak soon.”

Kyle Masse of LaSalle, Ont., Sydney Pickrem of Clearwater, Fla., Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont. and Toronto’s Oleksiak touched in 3:52.60, a Canadian record.

Australia finished first with an Olympic record 3:51.60, and the U.S. claimed silver.

Oleksiak surpassed speedskater Cindy Klassen and speedskater-cyclist Clara Hughes at six medals apiece.

Masse led Canada off in backstroke, followed by Pickrem’s breaststroke leg and Mac Neil in butterfly.

Mac Neil, 21, also captured 100-metre butterfly gold. She and Oleksiak took silver in the 4 x 100 freestyle relay on the first day of finals.

Masse, 25, earned a pair of silver in backstroke. Oleksiak also claimed bronze in the 200-metre freestyle.

The question on everyone’s minds? The identity of the teacher that advised Oleksiak against swimming.

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