The Association of National Olympic Committees held their Tokyo 2020 award ceremony over the weekend to honour some of the top athletes who competed at the Olympics. The committee gave out 9 main awards including the Best Female Athlete of Tokyo award, which went to Canadian swimmer Maggie MacNeil.
MacNeil swam her way to an Olympic gold medal in the women’s 100 butterfly, posting a 55.59 in the final to beat China’s Zhang Yufei (55.64) by just 0.05 and Emma McKeon (55.72) by 0.13. Despite having won gold in the event at the 2019 World Championships, MacNeil wasn’t a sure bet to win gold heading into the Tokyo final, having placed 5th overall in the prelims with a 56.55 and 6th during the semi-finals with a 56.56.
In addition to gold in the 100 butterfly, MacNeil helped her fellow Canadians to a silver medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay along with a bronze in the 4×100 medley. She, Kayla Sanchez, Rebecca Smith, and Penny Oleksiak hit a 3:32.78 in the freestyle relay to trail the world record-breaking Australians by just over 3 seconds.
She also swam the butterfly leg of the women’s 4×100 medley relay, delivering a 55.27 split, which is faster than Sarah Sjostorm’s current world record in the 100 fly of 55.48. MacNeil, Kylie Masse (57.90), Sydney Pickrem (1:07.17), and Penny Oleksiak (52.26) wound up swimming a 3:52.60 Canadian record in the event to join Australia (3:51.60) and the United States (3:51.73) on the podium.
MacNeil was one of three Canadian women to win three medals at the Tokyo Games. Fellow medley relay medalists Penny Oleksiak and Kylie Masse also stood on three podiums as Oleksiak took 200 freestyle silver and 4×100 freestyle bronze while Masse earned silver in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes.
MacNeil was honored at the ANOC ceremony in Greece alongside her fellow award winners including Eliud Kipchoge, the Kenyan runner who won gold in the marathon in Tokyo.
2021 ANOC Award Winners
- Best Female Multiple Athlete Event of Tokyo 2020: Estonia Fencing Épée Team
- Best Male Multiple Athlete Event of Tokyo 2020: Italy Cycling-Track Team Pursuit
- Best Female Team of Tokyo 2020: New Zealand Rugby Sevens
- Best Male Team of Tokyo 2020: Japan Baseball
- Best Female Athlete of Tokyo 2020: Maggie Mac Neil
- Best Male Athlete of Tokyo 2020: Eliud Kipchoge
- Outstanding Athlete Performance: Mijaín López
- Outstanding NOC of Tokyo 2020: Japanese Olympic Committee
- Contribution to the Olympic Movement: John Coates
ANOC Diploma for Breakthrough NOCs recipients
- Bermuda Olympic Association
- Philippine Olympic Committee
- Burkina Faso National Olympic Committee
- San Marino National Olympic Committee
- National Olympic Committee of Turkmenistan