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Olympic gold medalist says she's 'disappointed' by a US swimmer's decision not to get vaccinated ahead of the Tokyo Games

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Maya Dirado, left, and Michael Andrew, right.
Maya Dirado, left, and Michael Andrew, right. Clive Rose/Getty Images; Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
  • Olympic gold medalist Maya DiRado is "disappointed" by Michael Andrew not getting vaccinated.

  • Andrew's competing in three events at the Tokyo Olympics, including the 200-meter individual medley.

  • DiRado asked him to "think harder" about what he wants to represent: "What good are we using our freedom for?"

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Olympic gold medalist Maya DiRado criticized swimmer Michael Andrew for competing to the Tokyo Summer Games without being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Andrew, who's swimming in three events at this year's Olympics, including the 200-meter individual medley, told Fox Business Network that he opted not to get vaccinated and that he was "representing my country in multiple ways and the freedoms we have to make a decision."

After the interview aired, DiRado, who won four swimming medals at the 2016 Olympics, including two golds, wrote a thread on Twitter calling out Andrew's decision, saying she was "disappointed."

"Rio was the best team experience of my life. The way American swimmers prioritize team medal count above their own is unrivaled," she said. "That Michael would make a decision that puts even a bit of risk on his teammates for his own perceived well-being frustrates me."

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She asked Andrew to "think harder" about what he wants to represent, and asked: "What good are we using our freedom for?"

"Are we protecting the vulnerable? Are we helping to stop the pandemic that is continuing to wrench loved ones from their families in both our home country and the country that's hosting us? Michael does have 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 gotten their COVID-19 vaccines, Andrew told reporters at a news conference earlier this month that he "didn't want to put anything in my body I didn't know how I would potentially react to," the Los Angeles Times reported.

"As an athlete on the elite level, everything you do is very calculated," Andrew, who had COVID-19 in December, said. "For me in the training cycle ... I didn't want to risk any days out. We did know there were periods where you take the vaccine and you have to deal with some days off."

Public health experts are advising everyone age 12 and up to get the vaccines and bring an end to the pandemic. Worldwide, people have received more than 3.7 billion doses, according to Johns Hopkins University's tracker.

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