"Only word we could think of was magical," DiRado says of competing in the Olympics for the first and last time

By Rose Minutaglio
August 13, 2016 11:15 AM

Olympic swimmer Maya DiRado‘s first and last Olympics was one for the books.

Before the 2016 Rio Games even began, the 23-year-old said the competition would cap off her swimming career – and, boy, did she make it count!

The Stanford grad racked up four medals in Rio, including gold in the 200-meter backstroke and 4×200-meter freestyle relay. DiRado also scored silver in the 400-meter individual medley and a bronze in the 200-meter individual medley.

A highlight for DiRado was being able to share her medal-moments with roommates Katie Ledecky, who has won four gold medals and one silver medal in Rio, and Simone Manuel – who became the first African-American female swimmer to win an individual gold medal.

“There were so many tears last night, Katie [Ledecky] was so excited for Simone, we were all crying. Emotions were so high, everyone was so supportive of each other,” DiRado said on the Olympic Late Night show hosted by Ryan Seacrest.

DiRado says that after Manuel’s historic win, the roommates couldn’t help but get emotional.

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“We were all just trying to describe our emotions for Simone!” she explains.

One month after DiRado returns home from Rio, she will begin a career as a business analyst at McKinsey & Co in Atlanta, Georgia.

“I’m excited!” she said of starting work.

But the lingering memory of winning gold at the Olympics, and being able to share that moment with Manuel and Ledecky will last forever: “Only word we could think of was magical.”