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Maggie Mac Neil
Personal information
Nationality Canadian
Born 26 February 2000 (2000-02-26) (age 21)
Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China
Height 169cm
Weight 63kg
Sport
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle, butterfly, backstroke
Club London Aquatic Club
College team University of Michigan

Hannah Margaret McNair "Maggie" Mac Neil (born 26 February 2000) is a Canadian swimmer. She is the current Olympic and world champion and Americas record holder in the women's 100 metre butterfly event (55.59 s), having won the gold medal at both the 2019 World Aquatics Championships and the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Career

Growing up in London, Ontario, Mac Neil's first competitive experience as a swimmer came with the team of the school she first took lessons from. She would later cite the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as the point where she "started to take swimming seriously and knew that I wanted to pursue it further." She competed for Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School and the London Aquatic Club prior to her acceptance at the University of Michigan. She placed sixth in the 100 m butterfly event trials for Canada's 2016 Olympic team.

Mac Neil was part of the Canadian women's team at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju. She first won a bronze medal as part of the 4×100 m freestyle relay team, alongside Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck, Kayla Sanchez, and Rebecca Smith. Mac Neil then competed in and won gold in the women's 100 metre butterfly, beating four-time World and reigning Olympic champion Sarah Sjöström, in what was considered a major upset. She closed out the championships as part of the Canadian 4×100 m medley team, swimming the final with Kylie Masse, Sydney Pickrem and Oleksiak. The team finished third, winning Mac Neil's second bronze medal of the event, and setting a record of eight medals for Canada at a single world championship.

Competing for the University of Michigan, Mac Neil first tied the NCAA record for the 100 yard butterfly, and then broke it at the 2021 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in March 2021. She was the first in the NCAA to post a time under 49 seconds (48.89), and the first Michigan swimmer to win an NCAA title since 2008. She went on to win a second gold medal at the same championship, taking the 100 yard freestyle title.

In June 2021, she qualified to represent Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Mac Neil first competed as part of the Canadian team for the 4×100 m freestyle relay, replacing Ruck for the event final and swimming a 53.47 second split to help take the silver medal, Mac Neil's first Olympic medal. The following day, Mac Neil competed in the final of the 100 m butterfly event, taking the gold medal by a margin of 0.05 seconds over China's Zhang Yufei, setting a new personal best and Americas record of 55.59. She was the first Canadian gold medalist of the 2020 Tokyo Games. Mac Neil wears glasses and does not have contacts or prescription goggles, therefore she cannot immediately see her results and it took her a few seconds to focus on the results board to realize she won gold. Cameras focused on her squinting at the results board and she said after that "I was just trying to squint and see where I came. I heard my name getting called so I knew I must have done something good." Mac Neil's final event was the 4×100 m medley relay, where she posted a 55.27 time in her leg of the relay and the Canadian team won the bronze medal, Mac Neil's third of the Olympics.

Personal life

Mac Neil was born in Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China in February 2000 and was adopted by her Canadian family a year later.

Personal bests

Long course (50 m pool)

Event Time Venue Date Notes
50 m butterfly 26.14 Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju 26 July 2019
100 m butterfly 55.59 Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Tokyo 26 July 2021 NR, AR
50 m freestyle 25.21 Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, Toronto 28 May 2021
100 m freestyle 54.02 Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials 22 July 2021
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