U.S. swimmer Michael Andrew said this week he will elect not to receive a coronavirus vaccination before competing in the Tokyo Olympic Games later this month.
He fears that his intense training regimen could be negatively impacted by the vaccine.
“My reason behind it is I, 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,” Andrew told reporters Thursday. “As an athlete on the elite level, everything we do is very calculated. For me in the training cycle, especially leading up to trials, I didn’t want to risk any days out, because we do know that there are periods where, getting the vaccine, you have to deal with some days off.”
“But as far as that goes, U.S.A. Swimming and all of us here have been through a very strict protocol with lots of testing, masks, socially distant, obviously staying away from the crowds, everything like that,” he continued. “And going into Tokyo, the same thing, with testing every day. So we feel very safe and protected, knowing that we’re minimizing risk as much as possible.”
Under current rules, Olympic athletes are given the option to forego vaccinations. However, should he test positive for the coronavirus, Andrew would be removed from competition.
The 22-year-old said that he is confident that he can remain healthy by following the International Olympic Committee’s COVID-19 protocol.
Andrew, who nearly had a record-breaking showcase at the Olympic trials, will start the games in Tokyo as the best individual medley and breaststroke swimmer for Team U.S.A. He will also be competing in the freestyle at the Olympics.
This is an excerpt from Town Hall.
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