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Former South Dakota Swimmer Qualifies For Tokyo Olympics

Former South Dakota Swimmer Michael Andrew Qualifies For Tokyo Olympics

On Monday, elite swimmer Michael Andrew, who spent a portion of his youth living in Aberdeen, South Dakota, until moving to Lawrence, Kansas when he was eleven, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

Andrew won the men’s final of the 100-meter breaststroke by just .01 seconds. This victory during the Olympic Trials earned him his first ever spot on the USA olympic swim team for upcoming games in Japan.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday after his winning race, Andrew reflected on this being a dream come true.

“It’s still hard to believe it’s real. It’s been five years in the making,” Andrew explained. “Not making that team as a 17-year-old and to come back to kind of rectify that, I’m just honored and blessed.”

Andrew was born in Edina, Minnesota in 1999. His family moved to the United States from South Africa a couple years before he was born. When he was young, Andrew’s family moved to Aberdeen, where they remained until moving to Lawrence, Kansas in 2011.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting interviewed Michael Andrew as part of its Dakota Life series in 2010, right before he and his family moved out of state.

Michael Andrew: US Olympian in Training

At 11-years-old, Andrew had a strong passion for both swimming and drawing.

“My dream is to swim in Rio 2016, and then I’d like to become an artist with my swimming,” said Andrew. “So when I’m swimming in the Olympics I can be a swimmer and an artist.”

Andrew’s dream of making it to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio didn’t come true. And last year, everything was postponed because of the pandemic. But now as a 22-year-old, his boyhood dream has finally come true.

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.