Asthma-Stricken Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist Shares Awe-Inspiring Story to Motivate the Younger Generation

Published 12/29/2023, 12:28 AM EST

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In the arena of Olympic swimming, a gold medalist emerges no longer as a champion in the pool, but also as a beacon of life in this giving season. Combating asthma, she has clinched Olympic gold. At simply 23 years old, the Olympic swimming champion and international record holder has soared to outstanding heights, clinching Canada’s first gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Behind Maggie Mac Neil’s tremendous fulfillment lies in a lesser-known tale of struggles with allergies, a situation exacerbated by her widespread time in chlorinated pools. Mac Neil faced moments of doubt, wondering whether her sports activity goals were practicable. However, eventually, she overcame those. Now she is lending her courage to another generation of swimmers.

A gold medal journey through asthma

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As the ambassador for the Lung Health Foundation, Maggie Mac Neil aims to shed light on the often-overlooked factor of her career—the impact of asthma. Recently, during the giving season, the Instagram handle of the Lung Health Foundation showcased Mc Neil spreading awareness on Asthma. The caption reads, “Olympic Champion Maggie Mac Neil @macnmagg shares her inspiring journey with the Lung Health Foundation on CTV and CP24.”

Mac Neil looks forward to changing the common perception associated with asthma that is prevents one from taking part in physically demanding activities.

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Addressing it, she said a few days back, “If they have it at a younger age and (maybe) they’re like, ‘oh, I want to be a great athlete but I can’t because I have asthma.’ You can do whatever you set your mind to, it’s just important that everyone start to live a healthier lifestyle and that can be done with kind of changing your mindset if you suffer from any kind of lung disease.” And Mac Neil practiced what she preaches to bag the Olympic glory.

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Inhaling the Olympic success

Mac Neil has three Olympic medals and two short-course world records to her name. Alongside, at the 2023 Pan Am Games, she claimed five gold medals, the highest by a Canadian at any continental games. But things were not so bright when she was diagnosed with bronchial asthma in the year 2017. But Instead of backing off, Maggie started finding the way out.

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Maggie identified that shorter distances limited her breathing problems. She started capitalizing on those. This strategy proved to be a winning move as her times in 100 m butterfly started dropping, eventually bringing her the golden glory. But now she probably wants a shift in the conversation from her asthma. She says, “Heading into (the 2024 Paris) Olympics that’s something I want to change, not just for myself, but for awareness for everyone.” We also await Maggie’s performance to be at the center of the conversation in Paris 2024.

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Written by:

Shayni Maitra

389Articles

One take at a time

I have always been obsessed with the Olympic sports avenues especially when it comes to Gymnastics. Whether it's Jordan Chiles showing off her artistic moves or Simone Biles clinching titles to her name, I have always been fascinated by the routines they flaunt on the mat. I remember my favorite leisure time during summer holidays was to watch gymnastics.
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Edited by:

BHUJAYA RAY CHOWDHURY

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