Tag Archives: Maggie

Canadian swimmer Maggie Mac Neil facing prospect of competing at Olympics without family

When Maggie Mac Neil won the 100-metre butterfly at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, her mother, father and younger sister were in the stands cheering.

“My parents have done a great job throughout my career always trying to come to as many meets as they can,” said the 20-year-old London, Ont., native who is now attending the University of Michigan. “It was definitely nice to have them there in Korea.”

When Mac Neil competes for Olympic gold this summer in Tokyo, it’s unlikely any family members will be there to watch. Concerns about COVID-19 and restrictions due to the virus are convincing friends and family of many Olympic athletes to rethink travelling to the Games.

Susan McNair, Mac Neil’s mother, said staying home won’t be easy.

“I didn’t grow up anticipating I would have a child in the Olympics,” McNair said. “I didn’t anticipate if she did make the Olympics that we would ever not be there.”

WATCH | Maggie Mac Neil posts Canadian-record time at aquatic worlds:

Canadian teen Maggie MacNeil posts a Canadian-record time of 55.83 seconds at the world aquatics championships. 2:56

Last March, Nathan Hirayama celebrated with his family in the stands at BC Place Stadium after Canada defeated South Africa to win the bronze medal at the HSBC Canada Sevens Rugby tournament. He had hoped to repeat the experience in Tokyo — his parents had already booked flights — but now doubts it will happen.

“Our families have been on this journey with us for so long, supporting us and travelling and staying up in the middle of the night watching,” said the 32-year-old from Richmond, B.C. “They invested in what we’re doing. I think the whole experience would be fantastic to share with our loved ones.

“I think what we’re coming to understand now is, if these Olympics do happen, they’ll look a lot different than what we all dreamed about or foreseen for so long.”

Fears over COVID-19 forced the Tokyo Olympics to be delayed one year. With the Games now scheduled to begin July 23, some of the playbooks that instruct athletes, officials and members of the media of the protocols to be followed have been released, but many questions remain.

“If you have been to the Games before, we know this experience will be different in a number of ways,” reads the playbook for international federations. “For all Games participants, there will be some conditions and constraints that will require your flexibility and understanding.”

WATCH | Breaking down the IOC playbook:

With less than six months to go to the Tokyo Olympics, organizers have said the Games will go on no matter what. Now, they’ve released some preliminary guidelines explaining how that will happen. 1:37

Organizers have said they will wait until the spring to decide if fans will be permitted to travel to Tokyo or attend any events.

Dick Pound, a Canadian member of the International Olympic Committee, believes a limited number of fans will be allowed.

“I would see some, but certainly not full stadiums,” he said.

The Canadian Olympic Committee is waiting for more information before advising families and friends about travelling to Tokyo.

“We continue in our preparation to participate at Tokyo 2020 with a focus on the health and safety of our athletes, their families, and their communities,” Eric Myles, the COC’s chief sport officer, said in a statement.

“We are planning based on the assumptions that the COVID-19 virus will still be present internationally and that Team Canada may not be vaccinated. We expect the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee to update their playbooks in April, at which point we hope to provide a more thorough update for athletes to help inform their family and friends’ decisions.”

WATCH | Mac Neil overcomes nerves to claim gold at acquatic worlds in 2019:

Canadian Maggie MacNeil discusses her victory in the 100m butterfly at aquatics worlds. 0:50

McNair, who is a family physician, had originally planned on her brother and his family to join them at the Olympics. Now, with tight restrictions expected on access to athletes, she questions the point of going.

“There’s a lot of factors kind of against going at this point,” she said. “Even if we didn’t have access to her there [but] we could see her swim, I think I’d be the first one on the plane.

“But there’s a lot of cons against it right now. I want the joy of watching her swim, but I also want to do what’s right, in terms of our safety and the safety of others.”

Another deterrent could be recently-introduced rules that travellers returning to Canada are required to take a COVID-19 test upon landing and spend the first three days of their quarantine, at their own expense, at a supervised hotel while awaiting their results.

For Hirayama, whose great grandparents came to Canada from Japan, Tokyo has special significance. His parents had planned to meet up with old friends while in Japan.

He hopes conditions will change and his parents can make the trip.

“It’s hard to plan for anything that’s not a week away,” he said. “Things change so quickly. It would be awesome for them to book a last minute ticket, but I don’t think they’re planning on it now.”

In some ways, not having her parents make the journey would be a relief for Mac Neil.

“My parents are getting older,” she said. “It’s definitely better for them to just stay home safe and healthy.

“I think no matter where I am in the world, no matter where they are, I can always feel their support.”

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CBC | Sports News

‘Lost’ Alum Maggie Grace Expecting First Child with Husband Brent Bushnell

‘Lost’ Alum Maggie Grace Expecting First Child with Husband Brent Bushnell | Entertainment Tonight

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Canada’s Maggie MacNeil wins world 100m butterfly title after upsetting 3-time defending champion

Maggie MacNeil of London, Ont., knocked off three-time world champion and defending Olympic gold medallist Sarah Sjostrom to win the women’s 100-metre butterfly, posting a Canadian-record time of 55.83 seconds at the world aquatics championships on Monday.

Sjostrom was nearly one second ahead of MacNeil early on but the Canadian took charge and caught the reigning Olympic champion, handing the Swede her first loss in the event since 2013 and capturing Canada’s first gold medal at these worlds.


The 19-year-old MacNeil, making her worlds debut on the senior national team, turned in the eighth-fastest performance of all-time and is the second-fastest woman in history. She is also just the second female Canadian swimmer to ever win a world title, joining Kylie Masse, who won the 100 backstroke two years ago at worlds.

Sjostrom, who is tops in the world across the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, crossed the line in 56.22. She has slipped a little in butterfly of late and that allowed MacNeil to take her throne.

Emma McKeon of Australia, who finished second to Sjostrom in the100 butterfly in the 2017 world final, was third on Monday in 56.61.

MacNeil, who recently completed her freshman year at the University of Michigan, was part of the Canadian women’s 4×100 freestyle relay team that won a bronze medal on Sunday at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center.

WATCH | Maggie MacNeil helps Canada to relay bronze on Sunday:

Kayla Sanchez, Maggie MacNeil, Penny Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck posted a time of three minutes 31.78 seconds to lead Canada’s 4×100 relay team its first medal at the event since 1978. 6:18
She qualified second for Monday’s 100 butterfly final in a personal-best time of 56.52, only 6-100ths of a second off Penny Oleksiak’s Canadian mark from her silver-medal winning performance at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Sjostrom qualified first in 56.29.

MacNeil’s victory on Monday upped Canada’s medal total to five in Gwangju, with two silver and two bronze at the two-week event that features swimming, artistic swimming, diving and water polo.

Pickrem collects bronze in 200m medley

Canada’s Syndey Pickrem challenged for the lead over the last 50 metres of the women’s 200 individual medley final on Monday but came up short, placing third in two minutes 8.70 seconds.

Katinka Hosszu, the unbeatable Hungarian, prevailed in a 2019 world-leading time of 2:07.53 for her fourth consecutive gold medal in the 200 IM at worlds. The 2016 Olympic gold medallist is also the three-time defending world champion in the 400 IM. Ye Shiwen of China rounded out the podium on Monday in 2:08.60.

Japan’s Yui Ohashi, who was considered a medal contender on Monday, was disqualified from the race.

The 22-year-old Pickrem, a dual Canadian/American citizen, shone at the recent FINA Champions Swim Series in Indianapolis, finishing second in the 200 medley. Her 2:08.61 put her just behind Hosszu (2:08.50) and ahead of Melanie Margalis (2:10.41) of the United States.

Masse top qualifier for 100 backstroke final

Kylie Masse, the reigning world champion in the 100 backstroke, qualified first for Tuesday’s final in 58.50 seconds. The native of LaSalle, Ont., won world gold in 2017 with a then-world record time of 58.10, breaking a mark that had stood for eight years.

But Masse’s time had a much shorter shelf life as American Kathleen Baker swam 58-flat at the U.S. swimming championships last July.

Taylor Ruck, Masse’s teammate, was third in qualifying Monday in 58.83 while Baker was fourth in 59.03.

Peaty captures men’s breaststroke title

Adam Peaty on Monday became the first man to win a third 100-metre breaststroke title at worlds.

The British swimmer claimed the title in 57.14 seconds, a night after he became the first man to break 57 seconds in the semifinals. Peaty was under his own world-record pace at the turn before coming home a full body-length in front and 1.32 seconds ahead of teammate James Wilby.

In the semifinals, the 2016 Olympic champion was timed in 56.88. Wilby touched in 58.46 and Yan Zibei of China was third in 58.63.

Horton given warning for podium protest

China’s Sun Yang was back in the pool for the 200 freestyle semifinals a night after winning the 400 free. He qualified second-fastest behind Clyde Lewis of Australia. The final is Tuesday night.

Earlier Monday, FINA’s executive board met in Gwangju to discuss Mack Horton’s podium protest against Sun and decided to send a warning letter to Swimming Australia and to Horton.

Australian Mack Horton refused to stand next to Chinese swimmer Sun Yang on the men’s 400-metre freestyle podium. Sun is currently facing allegations of doping rule violations that could result in a ban from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 0:59

“While FINA respects the principle of freedom of speech, it has to be conducted in the right context,” the board said in a statement.

Horton refused to take his spot on the medals stand or shake Sun’s hand after finishing second to the Chinese star in the 400 free. The Aussie swimmer is angry that Sun, who served a three-month doping suspension in 2014, is being allowed to compete in Gwangju before he faces a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in September that could potentially end his career.

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Jake Gyllenhaal Adorably Reflects on How His Sister Maggie Inspired Him to Act (Exclusive)

Jake Gyllenhaal Adorably Reflects on How His Sister Maggie Inspired Him to Act (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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John Legend, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Billy Eichner and More Celebs React to Election Night Results

For weeks, celebs have been working overtime to get out the vote and encourage participation in the midterm elections.

On Tuesday, there was the expected wave of celebrity “I Voted” selfies in the morning and early afternoon, before results started rolling in, leading to some surprising upsets, disappointing defeats and the reclaiming of the House of Representatives by Democrats.

After the polls had closed and most of the votes had been counted in a majority of states, some truly groundbreaking statistics surfaced — including the fact that over 100 women were elected to the House.

A number of stars, including Maggie Gyllenhaal, John Cusack and Mia Farrow, took to Twitter to celebrate the progressive results.

Another progressive victory came in the gubernatorial race in Colorado, where Jared Polis became the first openly gay male governor in the history of the nation.

The Late Late Show’s James Corden, comedian Billy Eichner and Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen celebrated Polis’ groundbreaking victory with congratulatory messages of support and joy.

One of the biggest marquee Senate races of the night was between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke in Texas. A number of celebrities have been stumping for O’Rourke for months, so his loss to Cruz came as a particularly painful blow to many of his supporters.

However, one of the biggest developments of the night came when Democrats reclaimed the House of Representatives. While Republicans managed to increase their majority in the Senate, most celebs took any amount of the Blue Wave victory they could to heart.

John Legend broke down the importance of the flipping the House for the Democrats in a thoughtful tweet, in which he also shared his gratitude for everyone who campaigned, volunteered, fought and voted for progressive change during this election.

“People worked so hard around the country. Many voted who had never voted in the midterms. That was due to organizing and tenacity.  I’m grateful for everyone’s sacrifice,” Legend wrote. “Flipping the house despite all the gerrymandering was no small feat.  Despite it being expected by the polls, this is still a BFD. The House has so much power to hold the president accountable. I look forward to some real oversight.”

Here’s a look at how some of Hollywood’s other biggest celebs celebrated, lamented and reacted to the midterm election results.

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