General News

CSIO Affiliated Swimmers Make a Splash at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games


TORONTO (August 22, 2016) – Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) would like to congratulate the Canadian Olympic Swim Team on their astounding historic success at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Team Canada made a splash at the Rio Olympic Games – making Canadian history, setting and breaking national and Olympic records. The Canadian women dominated in the water, bringing home a remarkable 6 swimming medals from the pool – 1 gold, 1 silver, and 4 bronze medals, while leaving an illuminating and memorable Canadian mark at the Games.

CSIO affiliated athletes contributed to 5 of the 6 medals won.

Of the Team Canada swimmers competing at the Games, 5 of the swimmers train under Head Coach Ben Titley at Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Ontario (HPC-O) at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, where CSIO’s world-class training facility is also located. The five swimmers are:

  • Audrey Lacroix
  • Sandrine Mainville
  • Penny Oleksiak
  • Chantal Van Landeghem
  • Michelle Williams

As part of the HPC-O, these athletes have access to CSIO’s world-class facility as part of their daily training environment, receiving integrated support services from CSIO’s expert sport science and sport medicine practitioners including Biomechanics and Performance Analysis, Strength & Conditioning, Athletic Therapy, Sport Medicine, Sport Massage Therapy, and Sport Nutrition. CSIO staff working with the swimmers include Ryan Atkison, Lead, Biomechanics and Performance Analysis; Shawn Jeffers, Strength and Conditioning / Athletic Therapist; Dr. Steven Dilkas, Sport Medicine Physician; Remo Bucci, Registered Sport Massage Therapist; Nicole Springle, Lead, Sport Nutrition; and Erik Sesbreno, Sport Nutritionist.

CSIO also supports Head Coach Ben Titley’s role with the HPC-O providing funding for salary support, training and competition resources, and coach development.

Medal number one came quickly for Canada with Sandrine Mainville, Chantal Van Landeghem, Michelle Williams, Penny Oleksiak, and teammate Taylor Ruck, winning a bronze medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay on the first day of competition. This is Canada’s first medal in this event since the 1976 Montreal Olympics and Canada’s first swimming medal at an Olympic Games since 1996.

Penny was just getting started.

Establishing herself as a phenom, Penny won a silver medal the next evening in the 100m butterfly. In doing so, she broke her own Canadian Record and Junior World Record.

Penny then became Canada’s youngest ever gold medal winner and Canada’s first gold medallist in the pool since Mark Tewksbury at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She swam at lightning speed in the women’s 100m freestyle final to tie Simone Manuel of the United States for gold. The golden girl set an Olympic Record and broke her own Canadian and Junior World Record with a time of 52.70s. This was Canada’s first ever medal in this event.

Penny, along with Katerine Savard, Taylor Ruck, Brittany Maclean, Kennedy Goss, and Emily Overholt, also earned Canada’s first ever medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay. Overcoming obstacles, the women battled back to bring home a bronze medal.

At just 16-years-old, Penny is the first Canadian to win four medals at a single Summer Olympic Games and is tied with Victor Davis for most medals ever won by a Canadian swimmer in the Olympics.

CSIO through its Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative, or OHPSI program, has supported Penny and 4 of the Canadian swimming medalists during earlier stages of their career development pathway. These athletes are:

First Name Last Name OHPSI (NEXTGEN Ontario)
Kennedy Goss 2013, 2014
Brittany Maclean 2010
Kylie Masse 2013, 2014
Penny Oleksiak 2013, 2014, 2015
Michelle Williams 2010

Kylie Masse, won Canada’s third medal at the Olympic Games for Team Canada bringing home a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke. Kylie, who trains at the University of Toronto with coaches Byron Macdonald and Linda Kiefer, also does supplemental training with Ben Titley and the HPC-O at TPASC and CSIO.

OHPSI is a program developed and designed by CSIO and funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS), to provide support services to athletes who are best capable of achieving future international success on senior national teams in targeted winter and summer sports. The OHPSI investment also contributes to funding athlete participation in training camps, international events, coach and technical leadership support and enhancing sports’ daily training environments.

A recap of the CSIO affiliated swimmers who won medals at the Rio 2016 Games:

Athlete Result
Kennedy Goss 4x200m Freestyle Relay – Bronze
Brittany Maclrean 4x200m Freestyle Relay – Bronze
Sandrine Mainville 4x100m Freestyle Relay – Bronze
Kylie Masse 100m Backstroke – Bronze
Penny Oleksiak 4x200m Freestyle Relay – Bronze
4x100m Freestyle Relay – Bronze
100m butterfly – Silver
100m freestlye (OR) – Gold
Chantal Van Landeghem 4x100m Freestyle Relay – Bronze
Michelle Williams 4x100m Freestyle Relay – Bronze

Audrey Lacroix, an accomplished and decorated Canadian swimmer making the semi-finals of the 200m butterfly at the Rio Games. This was Audrey’s third Olympics having previously competed in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the London 2012 Olympic Games. Throughout her career she was extremely successful earning gold in the 200m butterfly at the 2003 and 2015 Pan American Games, and at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Audrey has announced that she will be retiring from swimming following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – CSIO would like to congratulate Audrey on her successes in and out of the pool and wish her the best of luck with your future endeavors!


“The partnership between the High Performance Centre – Ontario and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario has been instrumental in the Canadian Swim Team achieving the performances and success that we did at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The proximity and quality of the services CSIO provides, and the integration of coaching with applied sport science and sport medicine support including biomechanics, strength and conditioning, nutrition and athletic therapy, to name just a few, is first-class. This team of swimmers proved Canada is evolving to compete with the best swimming nations in the world. We now look to continue the support we receive from CSIO as we prepare for the next quadrennial and for our nation’s best athletes to be the very best in the world, over many years to come.”

Ben Titley
Head Coach, High Performance Centre – Ontario
Swimming Canada

“Congratulations to Swimming Canada and the Canadian swimmers, coaches and support staff on a terrific 2016 Olympic Games! Swim Ontario is very proud of all of our swimmers’ performances, five of the six Ontario medal winners were directly supported between 2010 and 2016 by OHPSI funding and programming support, which included high performance camps, the Individual Excellence Program and world-class sport science and sport medicine support. Swim Ontario is very proud of all of its medal winning coach-athlete tandems. This is an exciting time for swimming in Canada and we look forward to working with our partners Swimming Canada, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, Own the Podium, Sport Canada, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to support as we strive for sustained success on the world stage.”

Darin Muma
Interim Executive Director & Performance Programs Manager
Swim Ontario

“Congratulations to Swimming Canada and the Canadian swimmers, coaches and support staff on a remarkable 2016 Olympic Games! We are so proud of the performances by this incredible group of athletes, especially those of the HPC-O and coach Ben Titley. Penny and her HPC-O teammates contributed to 4 medals – truly unprecedented! This is an exciting time for swimming in Canada and we look forward to working with our partners Swimming Canada, Own the Podium, Sport Canada, Swim Ontario, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to support them in their continued success.”

Debbie Low
CEO, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

About Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) is a non-profit organization committed to the pursuit of excellence by providing world-class programs, services, and leadership to high performance athletes and coaches to enhance their ability to achieve international podium performances. CSIO offers athletes a range of sport science and sport medicine services including nutrition, physiology, biomechanics, strength & conditioning, mental performance, sport therapy and life services. CSIO also delivers programming and services to National and Provincial Sport Organizations and coaches to work towards building a stronger sport system in Ontario and Canada.

CSIO services approximately 700 high performance athletes and 250 coaches, at its main facility at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, its satellite location at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, and in daily training environments across Ontario. CSIO is part of a larger network of 4 institutes and 3 multi-sport centres across the country known as the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, working in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. CSIO is further supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, and the Coaching Association of Canada, along with the National and Provincial Sport Organizations within the sector.


Media Contact:
Laura Albright, Senior Communications Coordinator
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario
Tel: 416.596.1240 Ext. 238
Email: [email protected] |

Photo from the Canadian Olympic Committee