Penny Oleksiak: Out of the pool and back to school

Like high schoolers everywhere, gold-medal Olympian happy for school — if only to see friends

TORONTO — Star swimmer Penny Oleksiak says her first day back at a Toronto high school has allowed her to get back to a normal life after winning four medals at the Rio Olympics several weeks ago.

The 16-year-old is entering grade 11 at Monarch Park Collegiate and says she wasn’t too excited to return to school, but says she’s happy to see her friends.

Oleksiak became the toast of Canada’s Rio Olympic squad, culminating with her carrying the country’s flag at the closing ceremonies.

School officials say they were strategizing about how to best deal with a bona fide celebrity who is still just a teenager and say they are doing their best to treat her as a regular student.

Principal Cynthia Abernethy says they’ve posted some of the media articles about Oleksiak’s accomplishments near the school’s entrance and will likely acknowledge her feats at an upcoming assembly, but will otherwise focus on school life.

Oleksiak says she’s looking forward to science classes and is glad she doesn’t have any upcoming arts classes.


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