Olympic, Paralympic Swimmers Join Crowd Calling For Access to COVID Vaccine

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) produced a new video calling on world leaders to “ensure free and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines”

The video features several Olympic and Paralympic swimmers, including Federica Pellegrini (Italy), Ellie Cole (Australia), and Akiko Thomson (Philippines). 

Full Transcript of the Video: 

As athletes, we can bring the world together through the power of sport. Now, more than ever, we stand united to use that power of sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Movement to help win the battle against COVID because we go faster, we aim higher, we are stronger when we stand together.

We have been given a way forward with a safe and effective vaccine that can help save precious lives and protect our friends… and our families. So we call on governments, foundations, philanthropists, health organizations and social businesses to join hands in giving free and equal access to the vaccine for everybody across the world to pledge our collective responsibility to protect those who are the most vulnerable, because everyone on this planet has a right to live a healthy life. We are stronger together when we stand in solidarity and care for each other.

The IOC echoes the World Health Organization’s (WHO) call for 70% of the population in each country to be vaccinated by the start of July 2022. Currently, a little under 60% of the global population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. However, less than 10% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose. 

The United States is currently sitting at a 63% “fully vaccinated” rate, still below the WHO goal of 70%. 

President of the IOC Thomas Bach said that distributing vaccines “as a Global Common Good to everyone around the planet will be a great sign of solidarity for all humankind and demonstrate that we are always stronger together”. 

The IOC cites vaccines as helping to host a safe Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, and that going forward to the Winter Games in Beijing vaccines will “form a key part of the COVID-19 countermeasures”. 

Federica Pellegrini won Gold in Beijing in 2008 in the 200 free along with a Silver in Athens in 2004 in the same event. She also made the final of the 200 free in Tokyo in 2020, becoming the first female swimmer to qualify for the final in the same event at five different Olympics. 

Ellie Cole is Australia’s most decorated Paralympian, having won six Gold, five Silver, and six Bronze medals over four Paralympic Games. Cole is a backstroke and freestyle specialist. 

Akiko Thomson is a retired swimmer that competed in the Olympics in 1988, 1992, and 1996. Thomson was a backstroke and freestyle specialist.

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Sun Yang's Mom
6 days ago

Good for these athletes

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
5 days ago

Meanwhile MA’s mom is having beef with swim Twitter on the New York breakers account

Irish Ringer
5 days ago

US should give them some of our stockpile. With Omircon pushing out the Delta we may not need it soon.

612
Reply to  Irish Ringer
5 days ago

What avenger’s universe is this one? Omicron sounds like it may be routed from Capt. Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D., and Delta would be a double agent secretly working for H.A.M.M.E.R

jeff
Reply to  612
5 days ago

those are just the greek letters that many middle schoolers learn about in school

612
Reply to  jeff
4 days ago

Good one Jeff. Most don’t learn until college.

AThomas
Reply to  612
4 days ago

Jeff = private school educated

katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

someone send this to tina andrew’s personal twitter. wait sorry i meant the NY breakers twitter account

Steve Nolan
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

Hadn’t been following this, assumed, “dang she must have ‘liked’ something conspiracy-minded on the account, thinking she was still on a personal account.”

I was WRONG.

katie’s gator cap :)
Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 days ago

when i say swim twt had a good laugh, ratio’d and dragged her into the void, I MEAN IT

Holden Caufield
Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 days ago

@Steve Nolan. Is this you (pictured on the left)?

https://twitter.com/an648/status/1479598024653430786?s=21

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Holden Caufield
5 days ago

My final form, yes.

coachymccoachface
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

How have I not seen that. Geez

Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

How has ISL not stopped her from posting those things with official New York Breakers account? No one will believe this is a professional league after viewing NY’s home page. And Why is Tina Andrew still in charge of the account when Andrew family didn’t take part in the latest ISL season at all?

McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell

ignoring this is definitely not the first unprofessional/questionable decision the isl has made since its inception. the only professional things on that page are the handle, dp and bio. a stark contrast with the other teams’ twitters. apart from the content of the retweets, the worst part is that she says “look what I just found” when retweeting, like she’s completely oblivious to the fact that she’s representing her team, and a team’s behaviour reflects badly on the league as a whole. never looked at their twitter before so I thought this was an exaggeration, but they hit the nail on the head. yikes

Last edited 5 days ago by McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
Corn Pop
Reply to  McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
5 days ago

I think Supremes just voted 6-3 against imposing mandates on private businesses. So it may follow that a such an enterprise owner can post what they want if it gets thru another private enterprise censorship algorithm.

However if you alert them manually perhaps they will ban her account for you .

Last edited 5 days ago by Corn Pop
oxyswim
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

The banner photo for that page being MA would be weird under any circumstances. Given their lack of participation this last season, it’s even more bizarre.

McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
Reply to  oxyswim
5 days ago

definitely weird, but not the worst content on that page

Last edited 5 days ago by McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
Dudeman
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

Had no idea what this was about and went to take a look and holy crap!! Between that and MA saying “I’m not vaccinated and I’m not going to get vaccinated” in his last youtube video I’m wondering how many potential sponsorships they’re losing out on. Also a terrible look for the ISL as teams should at least remain neutral (if not stay silent like every other sports team) on these issues. Some bizarre choices being made for sure

612
Reply to  Dudeman
4 days ago

I love people who are pro choice and demand vaccines at the same time.

Dudeman
Reply to  612
4 days ago

People are free to make their choices, but when those choices place others at risk they are not going to be free from criticism. Also, babies aren’t a contagious virus that can be spread to someone else just by being in the same room as them for 10 minutes. If not getting vaccinated only impacted the individual then no one would have an issue, but that’s not the case.

McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

deleted

Last edited 5 days ago by McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

just gonna leave this here…
comment image

katie’s gator cap :)
Reply to  McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
5 days ago

she got ratio’d so bad

PBJSwimming
Reply to  McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
5 days ago

Very obtuse and entitled behavior on her part.

Last edited 5 days ago by PBJSwimming
Steve Nolan
Reply to  McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
5 days ago

Oh man, I didn’t even think to look at replies, too.

I could really use a deep-dive on the “journey” from ‘everyone trains for swimming wrong, and we will do it right’ to ‘actually, vaccines don’t work.’

McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 days ago

the replies all share the sentiment that we share here – you are free to have your own views, but use your personal account, not one which represents an organization.

wasn’t even true to her word. she deleted her tweet instead of replying

Steve Nolan
Reply to  McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
5 days ago

I think it is very funny that it’s on a branded account.

(Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather these people NOT have those views or share them at all, but if they’re gonna go out, better make it from a second-rate pro swim team that the poster isn’t really affiliated with anymore.)

Dudeman
Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 days ago

They argue all kinds of science to justify their training all the way down to purposefully cutting off circulation until your arms and legs turn purple, but other science on the human immune system and vaccinations going back over 100 years is definitely wrong 👍

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Dudeman
4 days ago

It’s absolutely one of the funniest parts of it. Will try whatever newfangled fad there is – ketosis! – but vaccinations (of which I’m sure they all have dozens, because you get them when you’re a baby) is too “unknown.”

Hell that said, I don’t even fault ’em for trying all the newest fads. Maybe something’ll really work! But I for sure know not getting vaccinated does not work.

Big Mac #1
Reply to  McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
5 days ago

she might live in America and her team is meant to be American but without her son, the breakers literally have no Americans. The NEW YORK breakers. Remember the old energy standard talking about how he was trying to get French people on his team but the league sort of stopped him. If a team is meant to be from an area, maybe get some swimmers from there to drum up some interest in the teams in their home bases.

Monteswim
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

Woah. SwimSwam needs to investigate this!

katie’s gator arc :)
Reply to  Monteswim
5 days ago

they should because a) it’s shocking and bizarre and b) i want swim twt to finally get noticed

Braden Keith(@braden)
Admin
Reply to  Monteswim
5 days ago

I don’t really know what there is to investigate. Tina Andrew has identified herself as the one sending the Tweets. She’s using the team account, because the ISL isn’t organized enough to take the keys to the team accounts away from someone when that individual resigns as general manager, or to write contracts that give them some control over how “team” assets are used (quotes because the league is still funding just about everything, so while there might be some paperwork ownership of teams by other individuals, Konstantin Grigorishin effectively owns the whole thing).

Seems pretty straight forward.

Ervin
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 days ago

“because the ISL isn’t organized enough to take the keys to the team accounts away from someone when that individual resigns as general manager”
So the ISL doesn’t have a morals or social media clause for its teams or athletes?

“Konstantin Grigorishin effectively owns the whole thing”
Would’nt that give him more leverage then?

Last edited 5 days ago by Ervin
Braden Keith(@braden)
Admin
Reply to  Ervin
5 days ago

It’s less about what the ISL can or cannot do, and what the ISL will or won’t do. I just don’t think they’re organizationally strong enough to deal with something like this. Maybe they’ll notice now that it’s being discussed, but…

Remember that the ISL couldn’t tell us how people could watch the first meet of the season until sometime after that meet began.

katie’s gator cap :)
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 days ago

because it’s a potential funny article to read

PBJSwimming
Reply to  katie’s gator cap :)
5 days ago

People are entitled to their opinions, but that doesn’t mean that they get to share those opinions on behalf of their organization. It is inappropriate for Ms. Andrew to tweet such opinions on behalf of a team.

She should use her personal Twitter account for such purposes. However, she chose to hijack the team’s account. Very disappointing and irresponsible behavior on her part.

Last edited 5 days ago by PBJSwimming
katie’s gator arc :)
Reply to  PBJSwimming
5 days ago

oh yeah no i agree. as much as her opinions are insufferable, she should use her own personal account and NOT an account dedicated to a sports team

oxyswim
5 days ago

This is something that 100s of countries, Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, OxFam, and 100 Nobel laureates all voiced their support for in 2020 when India and South Africa proposed vaccine patent waivers. The US and EU are against because of the influences of big pharma though, so it won’t go anywhere without massive public outrage.

Good on these swimmers for speaking out.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  oxyswim
5 days ago

There’s a good case to be made the current omicron surge could’ve been avoided if we’d decided to actually do the patent waiver stuff. (If there’s less virus swirling around the world b/c everyone’s vaccinated, less likely you’ll get variants.)

Buuuut we can’t do that, because someone has to “own” the vaccine.

Braden Keith(@braden)
Admin
Reply to  Steve Nolan
5 days ago

What has been odd to me is that the companies that own the vaccine haven’t just found a business solution.

I understand the fear that once they let someone start manufacturing, they’ll steal the vaccine, but there are other legal protections against that.

The issue hasn’t been money to fund more vaccine production, it has been the production space. Either I’m undervaluing the risk of IP theft in this case, or there’s something else going on – because it seems like lost revenue for the patent holders. Only thing I can think of is that the risk of IP theft isn’t so much the COVID vaccine itself, but the underlying mRNA technology that can be used for future vaccines.

In… Read more »

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Braden Keith
5 days ago

I think the actual tech to manufacture the mRNA vaccines is a bit unique and would probably involve a bit more involvement to get those manufacturing facilities up and running – which would drive fear around losing control of the IP for sure.

But honestly – and this is some dark speculation – the actual reason might be that new variants popping up is a bigger source of revenue for these companies.

Now they can come up with an omicron-specific booster! (Which won’t be hard, same process that got us the first vaccines in mere weeks.) So the longer this goes on – which is probably forever now – the longer they get to keep pumping out the… Read more »

Ervin
5 days ago

Even if the ISL does something about this, I’m sure the Andrews will just claim they’re being discriminated against for their “beliefs”, play the victim card and blame the “woke” mob

BearlyBreathing
5 days ago

Can’t we just ban Twitter altogether? Like burn the entire concept to the ground, admit it was a huge mistake and never speak of it again.

Last edited 5 days ago by BearlyBreathing
Katie
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
5 days ago

SafeSport Twitter is a fantastic resource for survivors of abuse in Olympic sports, particularly those who want to remain anonymous because they face retaliation in their own communities. The support and resources saved my life, without exaggeration.

Taa
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
5 days ago

I don’t do Twitter FB or tik tok I’m sure my life is better not seeing them. I do insta only not too much opinion stuff mostly enjoy drunk people doing stuff and qualified captain mixed with a little bit of bikini girls on tropical beaches and surfing vids

McKeown-Hodges-McKeon-Campbell
5 days ago

in other sports-covid news, phelps called out djokovic, as if serbia needed more reason to hate phelps