This time, Olympic champion Maggie MacNeil doesn’t need to wear glasses to look at the scoreboard to see if she won her race.
The 23-year-old Canadian, who went viral for scrambling to see his position in Tokyo two years ago, is the all-time great individual figure at the Pan American Games, winning five gold medals, one silver and one bronze.
At the end of the swim at Santiago 2023, Mac Neil managed the butterfly leg—his specialty—so that his country won the women’s 4×100 medley relay with a time of 3:58.76. The United States took silver, and Mexico reached the podium with bronze.
Unlike his experience in Tokyo, the Canadian quickly knew he had won.
“Now I wear prescription glasses, so I don’t have to squint, and I enjoy it,” Mac Neil said.
The Olympic 100 butterfly champion in Tokyo became the first Canadian athlete to win five gold medals in one edition of the Pan American Games. She left fellow swimmer Jessica Deglau (1999) as well as another pair for the record of golds achieved by a Canadian.
In Chile, Mac Neil also won the 100 butterfly, 50 and 100 freestyle, and the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay.
Going to Paris, the Canadian took the Pan American Games as a favorable test, even though he did not face his main rivals.
He left happy for the experience in an aquatic center full of people.
“The crowd was amazing. And we lack that in Tokyo, unfortunately. So at any time, you can set the atmosphere and enjoy yourself. “It’s good practice.”
After his role at the Pan American Games, Mac Neil plans to walk to Chile with his mother, Susan. He wants to see more of Santiago, explore the coast of Chile, and spend a day in the Andes.
But it won’t take long to get back to training.
“I’ve always been a person who is very critical of what I do, and I have to remind myself that it’s only October,” Mac Neil said.
The United States continued its momentum atop the podium by amassing 59 gold medals and 134 overall.
Thanks to a good day of swimming and badminton, Canada managed to knock Mexico out of second place.
Canadians have 28 golds and 76 medals overall. Mexico won 26 gold medals, for a total of 64.
In any case, Mexico did not stop celebrating. On the last day of diving, Arantxa Chávez and Paola Pineda won gold in the three-meter synchronized springboard, and Randal Willars did the same in the 10-meter platform. In addition, the modern pentathlon team won the mixed relay crown, and rower Kenia Lechuga won the individual regatta.
Brazil is in fourth place with a balance of 14 golds and a total of 61. Their highlights of the day were the victories of Rebeca Andrade in the balance beam in artistic gymnastics and Guilherme Costa in the 1,500-meter freestyle in swimming.
World runner-up Martha Bayona won the women’s keirin, Colombia’s first gold in track cycling. Their success helped the Colombians dislodge host Chile from fifth place, with six gold medals and 24 overall.
In other notable achievements from Latin American countries, the Dominican Audrys Nin Reyes validated his title in men’s jumping; Ecuadorian Julio Mendoza took gold in the individual equestrian dressage competition; and Uruguayans Newton Seawright and Martín Zocalo won the double pair short oars title.
“I am very happy and proud to come here after a long World Cup and have a good series and good presentations. I feel ready and confident to do what I need. This is a very good debut at the Pan American Games; I can’t complain.
This is what Andrade said, who, at the beginning of the month, was crowned the vaulting champion of the World Cup in Antwerp and then traveled to Chile for his first Pan American Games. He has not lost his status as a prestigious figure in continental competitions.
In their two titles on Wednesday, the Mexicans finished eighth in the diving pit. It was the country’s best performance at the Pan American Games since Guadalajara 2011, where they tied for gold. When they were the hosts, the Mexicans also had three silvers and one bronze. Now there are two silver and one bronze.
The Dominican Republic will attempt to return as the women’s volleyball champion after defeating Argentina 3-1 in the semifinals. In September, the “Queens of the Caribbean” qualified for Paris 2024 with class after finishing first in the Pre-Olympic Games held in Ningbo, China. In the final this Thursday, they will face Brazil, who defeated Mexico in five sets.