Former gold medalist Maya DiRado and many American swimmers are arguing about Michael Andrew’s choice not to be inoculated against the COVID-19 virus in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

DiRado started the debate this week with a long Twitter thread in which she expressed her “disappointment” with Andrew’s choice to compete unvaccinated and his rationale for doing so.

Former gold medalist Maya DiRado and many American swimmers are arguing about Michael Andrew’s choice not to be inoculated against the COVID-19 virus in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

Maya DiRado
Source: celebily.com

DiRado started the debate this week with a long Twitter thread in which she expressed her “disappointment” with Andrew’s choice to compete unvaccinated and his rationale for doing so.

DiRado wrote that it bothers him that Michael would put his colleagues’ perceived well-being in jeopardy for his own perceived well-being. She is one of three athlete representatives on the board of directors of USA Swimming, having retired after the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she won four medals, including two gold.

Anthony Ervin, a former gold medalist, tweeted to DiRado that Andrew contracted COVID-19 in December and has therefore developed natural immunity.

Tom Shields, Andrew’s colleague, questioned DiRado’s attitude.

Shields tweeted asking her how much of that duty includes publicly humiliating one of our Olympians on the eve of competition.

Andrew swept the United States trials last month, setting new personal bests in the 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley, and 50-meter freestyle to win his maiden Olympic spot.

The 22-year-old swimmer from Encinitas, California, made his first splash in the sport when he went pro at the age of 14. His father, Peter, trains him using an unconventional technique called Ultra Short Race Pace Training. It entails practicing solely at your target race speed or quicker. It does away with drilling, kicks, and any other technique-based training. Tina, his mother, is his agent.

Andrew said that we selected a course of action and we’ve taken pleasure in that. He said that it’s exciting to have arrived at this stage and for people to see that all of our years of effort and the fact that we can do things differently make sense.

The internet back and forth was unexpected, since the American swimmers usually portray a cheerful and unified face during the Games, stressing team success above individual achievement.

His teammate Patrick Callan said that Michael is free to make his own choices, and that he can assure you that none of us here hold any of those choices against him. He said that he is still acting in the team’s best interest.