2021-07-09 23:11:58 GMT+00:00 – Just a few weeks out from the Tokyo Olympics, former 100-meter individual medley world champion Michael Andrew said he will not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Andrew, 22, is heading to his first Olympic Games with Team USA, where he’ll compete in the 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley and 50-meter freestyle.
“My reason behind it is — for one, it was in the last moment I didn’t want to put anything in my body that I didn’t know how I would potentially react to,” Andrew told reporters on a conference call. “As an athlete on the elite level, everything we do is very calculated. For me in the training cycles and especially at trials, I didn’t want to risk any days out, because there are periods where if you take a vaccine, you have to deal with some days off.”
Andrew later said he would not get vaccinated in the “distant future,” either, revealing it was more than a matter of timing.
Olympic athletes are not required to be vaccinated in order to travel to Tokyo, but Japan this week declared a state of emergency due to rising COVID-19 infections. That, in turn, led organizers to ban spectators at the Games, scheduled for July 23-Aug. 8.
Andrew said he’ll comply with all COVID-19 protocols while in Tokyo — “lots of testing, masks, socially distanced, obviously staying away from the crowds, everything like that.”
Andrew placed first in the 100-meter breaststroke at U.S. Olympic Trials last month.
–Field Level Media
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