Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak had a message for her high school teacher on Tuesday. But it didn’t include praise for inspiring her to sporting glory.
Instead, the seven-time Olympic medalist ― who won one silver and two bronze medals in Tokyo ― tweeted her disdain for one particular educator who told her to quit.
“I just googled ‘Canada’s most decorated Olympian’ and my name came up,” Oleksiak wrote.
“I want to thank that teacher in high school who told me to stop swimming to focus on school bc swimming wouldn’t get me anywhere,” the 21-year-old added. “This is what dreams are made of.”
Oleksiak clarified her comments in a second post, shared around 90 minutes later.
She meant “no shade at all towards teachers in general,” she wrote, noting that her sister is a teacher who inspires children every day.
“Most of my teachers saw the vision and pushed me towards it,” Oleksiak added. “That one who constantly dragged me down though, WOAT.”
Oleksiak won silver in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay and bronze in the 200-meter freestyle and 4×100-meter medley relay at the Tokyo Olympics.
In Rio five years ago, she won gold in the 100-meter freestyle, silver in the 100-meter butterfly and bronze in the 4×100-meter and 4×200-meter freestyle relays.
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