by S. Wilson
Maya DiRado is a four-time Olympic medalist and a first-generation Argentinian-American. She placed in the 2016 Olympic qualifying trials as a triple winner alongside well-known Olympian swimmers Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps. DiRado participated in the Olympics for the first time in 2016 and received a gold medal in both the 4x200m free relay and the 200m backstroke, a silver medal in the 400m individual medley, and a bronze medal in the 200m individual medley.
On April 5, 1993, Madeline DiRado was born to Ruben and Marit DiRado in Santa Rosa, California. Madeline “Maya” DiRado got her nickname from her older sister, Sarah, who was unable to pronounce “Madeline” when they were bringing her home from the hospital. At age six, Maya entered into the wonderful world of swimming. She was recommended for competitive swimming due to the natural talent she displayed in synchronized swimming. DiRado attended Maria Carrillo High School, where she became a three-time state champion in the 200-yard individual medley. She graduated high school in her hometown, Santa Rosa, California, in 2010. Maya carried her passion for swimming to Stanford University where she won numerous events both individually and with her team.
DiRado is a four-time NCAA champion, a 21 time All-American and a seven-time Pac-12 champion. She graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a degree in Management Science and Engineering. While in college, she did not qualify for the London 2012 Summer Olympics, however her Stanford coach encouraged her to continue in her pursuit of entering this prestigious event. This encouragement, as well as DiRado’s faith in both God and herself, allowed her to push herself to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She competed in four Olympic events and was able to medal in all of them. In 2015, Maya married Rob Andrews, a software engineer and fellow former Stanford swimmer.
When interviewed about her faith and accomplishments by Christianity Today, DiRado stated, “Knowing that I’m a child of God and that His love for me is determined by nothing I can achieve or do on my own has given me a quiet confidence.” DiRado’s faith has propelled her towards incredible accomplishments in life, both in and out of the water.
Despite DiRado’s incredible talent, she has chosen not to pursue competing in any other Olympic events. Instead, DiRado has chosen to work as a business analyst, like her father. She began working at McKinsey & Company after the Olympics in the fall of 2016. Currently, DiRado works as an Associate at King Philanthropies. Because of her passion for swimming, as well as her extensive accomplishments in the sport, DiRado was selected to be a board member of the USA Swimming Foundation in May of 2018. She hopes to spread her love and knowledge of swimming to others. Even so, DiRado believes that her swimming accomplishments should not be the defining factor in her life, stating that, “I don’t think God really cares about my swimming very much. This is not my end purpose.”
Lee, Morgan, and Dorcas Cheng-Tozun. “Meet the Rio Olympians Who Put God Before Gold.” ChristianityToday.com, Christianity Today, 4 Oct. 2018
“Maya DiRado.” Team USA
“Maya DiRado.” King Philanthropies
“Maya DiRado Joins USA Swimming Foundation Board of Directors.” Swimming World News, 8 May 2018
“NATIONAL TEAM BIOS” Maya DiRado
“Stanford University Athletics.” Maya DiRado – 2012-13 Women’s Swimming & Diving Roster – Stanford University