Meet Summer McIntosh, the 14-Year-Old Canadian Swimming Sensation Going to Tokyo Olympics 2021

Published 06/22/2021, 7:00 PM EDT


After an initial postponement of dates, the 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials are currently taking place at the Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto. There are a lot of events to be held as the meet is scheduled for five days. One athlete who stood out during the first three days was 14-year-old Summer McIntosh. 

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Yes, you read that right. Summer McIntosh is just 14 and she’s already going to the Olympics. She’s achieved the dream through sheer hardwork, and not many athletes can boast of doing the same at her age. 

Summer McIntosh beat reigning Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak in the finals 

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Summer McIntosh is a name we’d have to get used to hearing a lot often. She has a chance to create history at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. McIntosh will be one of the youngest athletes competing at the Olympics this year. The way she sealed her spot is truly spectacular. 

McIntosh lined up with reigning Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak in the 200m freestyle finals and defied all odds by miraculously finishing ahead of 21-year-old Oleksiak. McIntosh clocked a time of 1:56.19, which also broke the world record for the 200 free in the 14 & Under age group

“I love Summer. I hate training with Summer,” Oleksiak lauded McIntosh. “She does not die. She’s 14 so she doesn’t get a lot of lactic acid so every time I train with her, I know she has the gas on and it’s all gas, no brakes with her.

Summer McIntosh is the daughter of Jill Horstead who swam for Canada in the 1984 Olympics in Athens. Safe to say that swimming runs in the family! To get praise from an Olympic gold medalist at the age of 14 is an enormous achievement. To outswim her at the Olympic trials is a superlative feat! 

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McIntosh will also compete in the 800 freestyle at the Olympics

Summer McIntosh is now the second-fastest Canadian woman to have swum the 200m free. As good as her sprinting strength, McIntosh also has a chance to shine bright in the 800m freestyle. She topped the charts at the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials. 

McIntosh got off to a blistering start, but a fade towards the end caused her time and she finished at 8:29.48. Katrina Bellio finished second, but her 8:38.12 time was nowhere near that of the 14-year-old swimmer from Toronto. 

 

McIntosh posted three Olympic A Cut times in the trials: the 200 free, 400 free, and 800 free. 

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“I think it’s the same for every race,” McIntosh said. “I just figure out my race strategy, what I’m trying to hold, what I’m trying to be out in, and assess my training, talk to my coaches and see what I’m able to do.”

Summer McIntosh isn’t guaranteed a medal at the Olympics, but the spotlight will surely be on her. The 14-year-old will face the biggest test of her life till now when she goes up against Katie Ledecky — one of the few athletes expected to bring home a handful of gold medals to the United States of America. 

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Arjun Athreya

2039 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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