Rio in 2016 was the destination for some of the youngest and most dynamic female athletes in history to compete at the Olympics.

As reported at the engaging sports site bleacherreport.com, “Vashti Cunningham has a famous father (former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham), but she has also become an athlete to watch in her own right.

The teenage high jumper will compete for Team USA in Rio. Shalise Manza Young of Yahoo Sports called her the “youngest member of the U.S. Olympic track team in decades.”

So many young faces.

Who else would you choose?

At only 16, Australian footballer Ellie Carpenter was named to the 18-player national team roster set to compete at the Rio Olympics.

Ellie became the first player born in the 2000s to suit up for the Australian national team when she played in the Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament in Japan at just 15 years of age.

That is very impressive, and you know what? It gets even better.

PenelopePennyOleksiak is a Canadian competitive swimmer who specializes in the freestyle and butterfly events.

Drum roll please.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, photo via Garage Clothing Blog

During the 2016 Summer Olympics, she became the first Canadian to win four medals in the same Summer Games and the country’s youngest Olympic champion, with a gold in the 100 meter freestyle, a silver in the 100 meter butterfly, and two bronzes in the women’s freestyle relays.

Previously Penny had won six medals at the 2015 FINA World Junior Swimming championships.

She is the current junior world and Canadian record holder in the 100 meter freestyle and 100 meter butterfly, initially setting the records at the age of 15 while improving them at age 16.

No matter how young you are, it is always desirable to improve and ascend.

Speaking of growth, Penny stands six-foot-two and appears to still be growing.

She currently shares the Olympic record in the 100 meter freestyle with Simone Manuel.

Understandably she has garnered fans the world over.

Many important awards too.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, August 7, 2016. / AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

Her phenomenal success at the 2016 Olympics led to her being awarded the 2016 Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete, the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada’s top female athlete for 2016, and the Canadian Press team of the year.

That is virtually unheard of.

Just when we think that we’ve seen it all, we are so happy life is full of wonderful surprises.

Here is how others are praising.

At the informative swimming site swimswam.com, they share, “Canadian born Penny Oleksiak starting turning heads when she was just 12. Swimming for Toronto Swim Club, under Coach Bill O’Toole, Oleksiak has been racking up the medals.

The youngest Canadian Gold medalist for Canada, Oleksiak also became the first Canadian athlete to win four medals at a single summer Games.”

Those four medals also tied her with Victor Davis as Canada’s most decorated Olympic swimmer of all-time.

On August 8, 2016 the respected news source thestar.com also added with humor, “Today, Penny Oleksiak is an Olympic silver and bronze medalist at the Rio Summer Games. Next month, she’ll be a Grade 11 student at Monarch Park Collegiate in Toronto.”

Sports stardom is in her blood.

As part of an athletic family, Penny’s brother plays professional hockey for the Dallas Stars, and her sister is a competitive rower at Northeastern University.

Still through it all, she is a typical teen who loves the music of Drake and going to professional basketball games to watch the Toronto Raptors.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, photo via Toronto Star

It’s time to travel to the great International village that helped raise Penny.

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, photo via wikipedia.org

With a population of 2,731,571, it is the fourth most populous city in North America after Mexico City, New York City, and Los Angeles.

A global city, Toronto is an international center of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

In addition to the exciting man made events that Penny loves, Toronto is a city that swells with natural beauty as well.

The Toronto Islands are a chain of small islands in Lake Ontario, south of mainland Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, By Duncan Koerber – Self-photographed, Public Domain wikimedia photo credit

The islands are a popular recreation destination.

Recreational bicyclists are accommodated on the ferries. There is a public bicycle sharing station operated by Bike Share Toronto at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and bicycles and Quadra cycles can be rented at Centre Island. Canoes, kayaks and paddle boats can also be rented on the island.

Eleven beaches.

Now that is variety.

Many of Toronto’s waterfront parks have sand or cobble beaches for you to enjoy including 11 designated swimming beaches.

The global travel leaders at Lonely Planet summarize Toronto well. They always summarize so well. “Welcome to Toronto, the most multiculturally diverse city on the planet: over 140 languages are spoken. It’s estimated that over half of Toronto’s residents were born outside Canada, and despite its complex makeup, Torontonians generally get along. When the weather is fine, Toronto is a blast: a vibrant, big-time city abuzz with activity. Some of the world’s finest restaurants are found here, alongside happening bars and clubs and eclectic festivals.

There is a fresh international buzz about Toronto.”

Yes there certainly is an international buzz about Toronto and part of the reason is that Penny’s accomplishments continue to put her hometown on the global map.

The great news is that Penny is so young and given the improvement in training and dietary measures for today’s athletes of all Olympic sports, her chances of competing deep into the future are substantial.

Remember Dara Torres?

She is an American former competitive swimmer who is a twelve-time Olympic medalist and former world record-holder in three events. Torres is the first swimmer to represent the United States in five Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008), and, at age 41, the oldest swimmer to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic team.

So please keep an eye on Penny Oleksiak.

It’s been record breaking so far but we truly sense that the best is yet to come.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, photo via Canadian Olympic Committee

~ ~ ~

OPENING PHOTO CREDIT fciwomenswrestling.com article, photo via Island Sports News 

http://www.independentsportsnews.com/2017/06/15/oleksiaks-national-record-headlines-mare-nostrum-success/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Islands

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=48d9d9dc1151a510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/canada/toronto/introduction

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2650638-20-best-young-phenoms-to-watch-in-sports-this-year

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/canada/toronto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Oleksiak

https://swimswam.com/bio/penny-oleksiak/

https://twitter.com/oleksiakpenny

http://olympic.ca/team-canada/penny-oleksiak/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/olympics/outside-the-pool-penny-oleksiak-is-a-normal-teen-just-with-a-few-medals/article31398594/ 

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/aquatics/penny-oleksiak-canadian-swim-trials-1.4062208

https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/penny-oleksiak-lead-strong-field-canadian-swimming-trials-psych-sheets/

https://www.thestar.com/sports/olympics/2016/08/08/get-to-know-penny-oleksiak-canadas-16-year-old-swimming-medallist.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dara_Torres