Michael Andrew made the decision to fly to Tokyo for the Olympic Games completely unvaccinated, claiming that he didn't want to "risk any days out" of training or even competition.
It this outright refusal of the jab that has landed the United States swimmer in the spotlight with some fans, including former Olympians, calling his actions "selfish" and "frustrating".
"I'm not vaccinated," Andrew said.
"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.
"As an athlete on the elite level, everything you 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."
While some people have praised Andrew's decision, others have slammed him for putting the health of other Team USA members or rival competitors at risk within the Olympic Village.
Andrew has been met with a fair amount of backlash for his anti-vaxx stance and one person who certainly didn't hold back was USA Today columnist Christine Brennan.
"He sounded proud as he spoke, proud of his selfish, foolish ways," Brennan wrote.
"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 wasn't the only one slamming Andrew though, it seems.
It wasn't long before former Olympic gold medallist Maya DiRado joined the chorus of voices condemning the 22-year-old's views, perhaps producing the most damning assessment of them all.
"That Michael would make a decision that puts even a bit of risk on his teammates for his own perceived well-being frustrates me," DiRado wrote.
"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.
Official regulations state that a vaccine isn't compulsory among athletes competing in Tokyo.
It's also understood Andrew has previously contracted COVID-19, although medical experts still suggest getting a vaccine to minimise spread and protect against new variants.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@swimmermichael/PA
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