Controversially unvaxxed American swimming star Michael Andrew is in Australia for the upcoming Duel in the Pool.
The US star was a part of the gold medal winning medley relay team at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
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His decision to refuse getting vaccinated drew widespread backlash and only grew louder when he refused to wear a mask in the mixed zone following competitions in Tokyo.
Despite the backlash that flooded in, Andrew remained steadfast in his stance and continues to refuse getting the jab.
A rift between the US swim team reportedly occurred during the Olympics after Andrew made the team and was allowed to travel with the team unvaccinated.
Andrew revealed his reasoning behind his decision to not get the vaccine when he was probed by a reporter prior to the Olympics.
“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,” he said.
“As an athlete on the elite level, everything we 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.”
Tokyo Olympic organisers and the International Olympic Committee didn’t make it mandatory for athletes to be vaccinated to compete.
Djokovic was deported from Australia after landing ahead of the 2022 Australian Open. His visa was cancelled due to his vaccination status.
Andrew, 23, however is free to compete in Australia after changes were made to travel requirements.
Neither proof of Covid-19 vaccination, nor proof of a negative Covid test is any longer required to enter Australia, with regulations changed last month.
Andrew said he received death threats during the Olympics as fans blasted him for being unvaccinated. The American however says he’s not an anti-vaxxer.
USA Today columnist Christine Brennan blasted Andrew for his controversial stance.
“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.
Originally published as Controversial unvaxxed American swimming star Down Under to compete