Canadian swimmer Maggie Mac Neil was named Best Female Athlete of Tokyo Olympics 2020 by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Greece. Mac Neil claimed Canada’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Games by capturing the women’s 100-metre butterfly in 55.59 seconds. En route to the medal, she bettered her own national record by nearly a quarter of a second.
The 21-year-old went on to add two more medals, silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay and bronze in the 4x100m medley relay in her maiden Olympic appearance. “It is such a great honour to receive this award,” said Mac Neil in a press release. “There are so many amazing athletes who competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. With all we have been through the last year and a half, this makes it even more special.“
“Maggie Mac Neil’s three-medal performance was a catalyst for Team Canada,” Marnie McBean
Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 chef de mission and three-time Olympic gold medallist Marnie McBean commended Mac Neil for her feat. McBean asserts that her gold medal was the game-changer for the team. Canada finished 11th on the medal tally with 24 medals which included seven gold.
“When Maggie won her gold medal on Day 3 of the Games, it blew the lid off of our team’s simmering pot,” said McBean.
“To perform at that level having spent a significant amount of time training in her backyard pool in London, Ontario, confirmed to the rest of the team that unique, less than ideal, training programs could result in world class results. Her three-medal performance was a catalyst for Team Canada — in and out of the water — to believe in great things,” added McBean.