Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak is "Canada's most decorated Olympian." That's what she saw after Googling herself. And hey, it makes perfect sense.
Oleksiak recently won silver in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay and bronze in the 200-meter freestyle and 4x100-meter medley relay at the Tokyo Olympics. Previously, she won gold in the 100-meter freestyle, silver in the 100-meter butterfly and bronze in the 4x100-meter and 4x200-meter freestyle relays at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Shortly after adding these latest prizes to her mantel, Oleksiak wrote a message to her former high school teacher. But it wasn't full of praise, as one might expect.
"I want to thank that teacher in high school who told me to stop swimming to focus on school bc swimming wouldn't get me anywhere. This is what dreams are made of."
Oleksiak was quick to point out that she wasn't disparaging teachers in general—just that one. She referred to the mystery teacher as the "WOAT," an acronym for "The Worst of All Time":
Many praised Oleksiak for her accomplishments. They pointed out that while there are bad teachers out there, it's evident that she did not allow that one teacher to crush her athletic dreams.
Sadly, not every teacher is cut out for the job. But don't think that bad teachers are the majority. According to a 2013 Washington Post analysis of ineffective teachers, "only about 1.5 percent of teachers are unsatisfactory, and another two or three percent receive a rating of "needs improvement." A 2014 report from the non-profit Hechinger Report, which covers inequality and innovation in education, found that the overwhelming majority of teachers—that's 96.9 percent—are good at their jobs.
Bravo, Penny Oleksiak. You proved that one teacher wrong and are sure to continue to inspire us all.