The title above is for swim fans here on SwimSwam.com. If you want to play the prediction game, see my predictions below. The title probably should be How Does Olympic Swimmer Michael Andrew Handle Media Pressure?
In the aftermath of USA Swimming’s press conference last week with 2021 Team USA Olympian Michael Andrew, I asked him to come on the SwimSwam podcast. If you missed it, see his press conference here. He went viral because of his response about why he wasn’t vaccinated. (For the record, I am vaccinated, and I recommend it. I trust the science. I also strive to respect others’ opinion on this topic despite my personal feelings.) At any rate, I didn’t ask Michael to come on the pod to debate or defend himself. I did want to know how he has handled the media pressure.
For anyone in swimming, you know Michael’s been a lightening rod since he was ten years old, back when he started his ambush on nearly every National Age Group Record in the sport.
Michael unpacks his long journey and how he’s handled criticism over the years, from his choice to train exclusively USRPT to turning pro at the tender age of 14. Michael also opens about his decision to not participate in Season III of the International Swimming League (ISL), which partly includes more insight about the Michael Andrew Swim Academy. Finally he deconstructs his Olympic Trials performance and looks ahead to the Olympics and Team USA’s challenges in the men’s relays.
For curious mind, see the Michael Andrew Swim Academy here.
MICHAEL ANDREW – OLYMPIC GAMES PREDICTIONS:
200 IM? Michael wins gold in the 200 IM with another 1:55 low. However, Michael swims faster in the semi, just dipping under 1:55 for a new PB.
100 breast? I’d like to see a 57 plus. I think he makes the podium, winning a bronze.
50 free? 21.3 and he’s bronze or just off the podium. (I see a fast 50m free final. Dressel dips under 21 seconds, 20.86, and he pulls two more swimmers along each posting 21.1 and 21.2.)
Mixed Medley Relay? Michael Andrew nets gold swimming in the prelim. Team USA switches the lineup in the final, going with King in the breast and Dressel in the Fly.
Medley relay? I don’t know. I think the U.K. wins, which SwimSwam Editor-in-Chief Braden backed up, and which I’ve already stated in our Olympic Games podcast preview (which drops Friday). SwimSwam Head of Production Coleman Hodges disagrees. He thinks Team USA wins back the gold after the 2019 World Championship loss.
BIG NOTE! The only prediction I got right about Michael at U.S. Olympic Trials was his 50m free. See my US Trials predictions below:
- 1:55.9 – 200 IM – for 2nd or 3rd (was wrong, Michael was 1:55.26 for the win)
- 50.5 – 100 fly for 2nd, 3rd or 4th (was way wrong, Michael didn’t swim it)
- 21.4 – 50 free for 2nd or 3rd (was right…but so were a lot of commenters)
- 58.3 – 100 breast and said he’d break the AR (was wrong, he was 58.1 twice)
So, who cares what I think. What do you think? Give me your best expert swimming analysis.
Follow Gold Medal Mel on Instagram here.
This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.