the unvaccinated, 22-year-old American swimmer who refused to wear a mask while talking to journalists in the mixed zone Friday morning at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, is a first-time Olympian who by now should have figured out that things are different in Tokyo than they were for him back home.
Instead, somewhere on his journey from self-centered athlete to Michael America, Andrew lost his way.
When he showed up to speak to reporters at a locked-down Olympics in the middle of a pandemic state of emergency, he was asked by USA TODAY Sports why he was not wearing a mask like all of his U.S. teammates.
One might have thought he would have realized his mistake, reached for his mask and put it on right then, out of courtesy, if nothing else.
No way. Not this guy.
This is what he said:
“For me, it’s pretty hard to breathe in after kind of sacrificing my body in the water, so I feel like my health is a little more tied to being able to breathe than protecting what’s coming out of my mouth.”
Translation: I couldn’t care less about you, or the pandemic, or the fact I’m not vaccinated. This is all about me.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has an ugly American in its midst.
I have been in that mixed zone every day and every night for a week. I have watched Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky painstakingly explain both a surprising loss and a thrilling victory through her mask. I have seen Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel take big, deep breaths right after a race, his mask moving in and out as he spoke.
But Andrew? This man who has been a bust so far at these Olympics, failing to medal in his first two events? He can’t be bothered to do what Ledecky and Dressel do?
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