US swim star Michael Andrew has been slammed for travelling to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games unvaccinated.
As the grim reality of Japan’s COVID situation reached its peak today, former US swimmers have called Andrew out for putting the health of Team USA in peril.
And it’s his claim that he didn’t want the vaccine in order not to ‘risk any days out’ of training that has caused the biggest stir.
“I’m not vaccinated,” Andrew said. “My reason behind it is, for one, it was kind of a last moment, I didn’t want to put anything in my body that I didn’t know how I would potentially react to.
“As an athlete on the elite level, everything you do is very calculated and understood. For me, in the training cycle, especially leading up to trials, I didn’t want to risk any days out. There were periods where you take a vaccine, you have to deal with some days off.”
USA Today columnist Christine Brennan blasted Andrew for his controversial stance.
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“He sounded proud as he spoke, proud of his selfish, foolish ways. Proud to be a hindrance to his teammates, a worry to all. Proud to be doing whatever the heck he wants, no matter how it affects anyone else,” Brennan wrote.
The 22-year-old will swim three events (200m individual medley, 100m breaststroke, 50m freestyle) in Tokyo plus a number of relays.
Ninety per cent of Team USA athletes are vaccinated. Andrew has previously contracted Covid-19.