What happens when a world-class swimmer teams up with Canada’s most-trusted tea brand? A match made in hydration heaven! For Penny Oleksiak, whose record-setting Olympic debut at Rio 2016 saw her become the first Canadian athlete to win four medals at a single Summer Games (at 16 years old, no less!), a partnership with Tetley to celebrate the brand’s Cold Infusions herbal-tea water enhancers came as naturally as diving into a pool on a hot summer’s day. Here’s why.
Tetley’s Cold Infusions are a range of sugar-free, caffeine-free herbal infusers that bring cold water to life, giving it a refreshing twist and making it fun and easier than ever to drink. Oleksiak, of course, is no stranger to cold water, so she was a natural fit to come on board as the Tetley Cold Infusions ambassador. With summer coming up, the product was conceived to help boost hydration by adding a naturally delicious hint of flavour to plain water (try it in Strawberry and Watermelon, Raspberry and Cranberry, or Mint, Lemon and Cucumber). It’s super easy, too; since it’s cold brew, simply drop a sachet in your water bottle (or glass or pitcher), shake or stir, and go. No mess—no fuss—just great-tasting H2O!
We chatted with Oleksiak about her swimming career, her partnership with Tetley and her top tips to stay hydrated during the summer months (and beyond); so, without further ado, let’s dive in! —Vita Daily
Hi Penny! Has swimming always been a passion, a part of your life?
It honestly wasn’t a huge part of my life growing up. We would always go to cottages in the summer and I am terrified of open water so I would never go in—unless it was dangerously wavy! I did a lot of dance and gymnastics and I remember wanting to try something new because I had already done a ton of sports; my mum was a competitive swimmer growing up so she suggested I try out for some teams. Let’s just say “third time’s a charm” is a real thing … because at first I did not know what I was doing!
Can you tell us about your athletic siblings, and how your parents encouraged you all in sport?
My whole family has always been super active; growing up, I remember my mum would always be swimming. My dad loved running and still goes cycling all the time and is always in the gym when we go to the cottage now. My brother is such an accomplished hockey player; he has inspired and taught me for so long to be professional and how to carry myself as a pro athlete. My sister literally never gives up; she has gone through an insane amount of injuries through her various high-level athletic endeavours and has always pushed through them. I think she’s the reason I love competing and, in fact, why I’m so competitive; she always showed me that you should never back down from a challenge. I could honestly say so much about my family and how inspiring and insanely hard-working they all are. I think that’s why we’re all so successful at what we do—because my parents never put a limit on us when it came to anything.
The road to the Olympics must be a challenging, exhilarating and wild ride! Can you walk (or, rather, swim) us through your journey?
It’s pretty hard to think back to then; I was honestly just a kid, who didn’t even realize what she was really doing. I literally just worked out and was a normal high-schooler outside of that! I’d say the road to Tokyo has been a lot more of a challenging experience, with everything that I have learned and gone through in the last five years.
When did you first team up with Tetley? What makes it such a “swimming” partnership, especially when it comes to the parallels between your life in the pool and as an athlete, and Tetley’s Cold Infusions?
As an athlete, I’m really, really careful about what I put into my body. So, when Tetley approached me about being a brand ambassador, I instantly loved that there were no additives, sugars or caffeine in their Cold Infusions, so I can feel good about drinking it and recommending it. Plus, I’ve always struggled with my water intake so this helps me stay on track. I also really try to limit my caffeine intake throughout the year, so that caffeine has a bigger impact on me come competition time. All of this considered, how could I say no?!
As an Olympian—and as an athlete training—how does hydration play a role in your active lifestyle, and how do Tetley’s Cold Infusions help in that vein?
Hydration is a key part of my training, but it’s easy to forget about drinking water when you’re surrounded by it all day! And, truthfully, hydration is so important for everyone, not just athletes. Tetley Cold Infusions make it easy to stay hydrated by making my water taste refreshing and delicious, infusing it with a hint of natural flavour. They’re made without sugar, caffeine or artificial sweeteners, making them the perfect companion for cold water.
With things being as they are at the moment due to the pandemic, what are you currently working on and training toward?
In the last two years my mind has only been on the Olympics. I have really been working and perfecting everything I’m doing, especially with the extra year, so I can’t wait to get to Tokyo and compete!
Final question, and it’s a tough one: if you could flavour an entire Olympic-size pool with Tetley’s Cold Infusions (minus the chlorine, of course), which flavour would you choose?!
My favourite flavour to drink is the Mint, Lemon and Cucumber, however, to swim in, I think I would have to go with Raspberry and Cranberry—for some reason, I think my skin would love that!
Win! A Tetley Cold Infusions Prize Pack!
Congrats Mishelle G. @magsca42 of Bridgewater, NS, who will receive a Tetley Cold Infusions prize pack, including a summer’s worth of Cold Infusions and a notecard autographed by Penny Oleksiak! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.