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Canada's Maggie Mac Neil swims to a bronze medal in the women's 4 x 100m medley relay final during the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, in Tokyo, on Aug. 1, 2021.The Canadian Press

Olympic champion Maggie Mac Neil has been named Swimming Canada’s female swimmer of the year.

“It’s really an honour, it means a lot to me,” said Mac Neil said in a statement. “Swimming in Canada, especially for females, had increased since Rio and I think we’re still on an upward trajectory.

“There are so many good swimmers on the team and just being able to swim with them, and learn from them, that means a lot to me.”

The 22-year-old from London, Ont. had a breakout 2021 that saw her win a medal of every colour at the Tokyo Olympics.

She won a bronze in the 4x100-metre medley relay, silver in the 4x100 freestyle relay and a gold in her signature event, the 100 butterfly.

“To come home with a full set (of medals) was definitely amazing,” she added.

At the short-course world championships in Abu Dhabi in December, Mac Neil won four gold medals and set a new world record in the 50-metre backstroke event.

Currently a student at the University of Michigan, Mac Neil says the transition from Olympic glory back to regular school life has not been easy.

“I’m kind of struggling to see what I want to do next but I’m definitely enjoying this right now and enjoying the ride,” she said.

Given all the success she’s had, Mac Neil is aware she is now swimming with a target on her back.

“After winning at the Olympics and setting a world record, I feel I am very familiar to (my competitors). I try not to think about that too much and put too much pressure on myself. I always do the best I can do. I just want to know I put my full effort in.”

Mac Neil will compete this summer in both the world championships in Budapest, Hungary and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, with her sights firmly set on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“Paris is definitely a long-term goal so I’m always working toward that,” she said.