Olympic gold medalist says she's 'disappointed' by a US swimmer's decision not to get vaccinated ahead of the Tokyo Games
Maya Dirado, left, and Michael Andrew, right. Clive Rose / Getty Images; Maddie Meyer / Getty Images
Olympic champion Maya DiRado is "disappointed" that Michael Andrew does not get vaccinated.
Andrew competes in three competitions at the Tokyo Olympics, including the 200-meter individual medley.
DiRado urged him to "think more about" what he wanted to represent: "What do we use our freedom for?"
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Olympic champion Maya DiRado criticized swimmer Michael Andrew for participating in the Tokyo Summer Games without being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Andrew, who will swim in three disciplines at this year's Olympics, including the 200m individual medley, told Fox Business Network that he has decided against vaccination and that he “represents my country in many ways and the freedoms that we have to make a decision. "
After the interview aired, DiRado, who won four swimming medals, including two gold medals, at the 2016 Olympics, posted a thread on Twitter evoking Andrew's decision and saying she was "disappointed".
"Rio has been the best team experience of my life. The way American swimmers prioritize the number of team medals over their own is unrivaled," she said. "That Michael would make a decision that risks his teammates a little for his own well-being frustrates me."
She asked Andrew to "think more carefully" about what he wanted to represent and asked, "What do we use our freedom for?"
“Are we protecting the vulnerable? Are we helping stop the pandemic that continues to tear loved ones from their families in both our home country and the country that hosts us? Michael has the right to do anything - but not everything is beneficial, "" she wrote.
Andrew did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
While other Olympic swimmers including Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel have received their COVID-19 vaccines, Andrew told reporters at a news conference earlier this month that he "didn't want to put anything inside my body, I didn't know how I" potentially react reported the Los Angeles Times.
"As an elite-level athlete, everything you do is very calculated," said Andrew, who contracted COVID-19 in December. "For me in the training cycle ... I didn't want to risk days. We knew that there are phases when you take the vaccine and have to deal with a few days off."
Public health experts advise anyone ages 12 and older to get the vaccines and end the pandemic. People have received more than 3.7 billion doses worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
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