Oleksiak withdraws from Commonwealth Games with Swimming Canada’s support

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Penny Oleksiak has formally withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games team for 2022. 

Oleksiak and Swimming Canada made the announcement Wednesday from Budapest, Hungary, where Team Canada is preparing for the FINA World Championships. Swimming Canada will be considering an additional swimmer nomination to the Commonwealth Games team.

“I am excited to compete at world championships, but after thinking long and hard about the additional commitment of Commonwealth Games I have decided this is the best option long-term to prepare for the 2023 season and into Paris 2024,” Oleksiak said. 

The decision was made in consultation with Swimming Canada High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson and High Performance Centre – Ontario Interim Head Coach Ryan Mallette.

“The international competition calendar has become compressed in an unprecedented way with three long-course world championships in 17 months, and this year adding a Commonwealth Games shortly after the worlds,” Atkinson explained. 

Atkinson highlighted the importance of working with each individual athlete on plans that keep the long-term best interests of the athlete at the centre.

“We fully support Penny and this decision to manage her workload over the long term. We are looking forward to her performances as part of Team Canada at the world championships, and we look forward to seeing what she can accomplish in 2023 and ultimately at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

“Ryan and Swimming Canada have been so supportive of my decision, and I am always incredibly appreciative of the support from Swimming Canada and from Ryan as my coach,” Oleksiak said. 

“It was hard to make this decision so close to the Games. I look forward to racing with my teammates at worlds, and cheering them on from a distance during Commonwealth Games. I know it’s going to be an exciting summer.