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Triple-Threat Swimmer Michael Andrew at Tokyo Olympics: What to Know

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Swimmer Michael Andrew – an Encinitas resident who surfs North County breaks – will compete at the Tokyo Olympics. Here’s what you need to know about this top-ranked athlete with ties to San Diego.

What to Know

  • Michael Andrew will be in the pool for three events in Tokyo
  • At 6 feet 6 inches, he may just stand above the competition
  • The Tokyo Olympics are his first Olympics; he nearly qualified for Rio

Tokyo Olympics Predictions

It's been a while since San Diego has had a swimmer in the Olympics with gold medal potential, but Michael Andrew fits that bill. He has qualified for three separate individual events, posting an all-time American record in the breaststroke at one point.

Something Andrew did do ahead of this summer's competition: At the age of 14 in 2013, he became the youngest American swimmer ever to turn pro. Something he's doing that's drawn a lot of attention: Uses a technique called "blood flow restriction" that utilizes tourniquets and cuts off the blood flow to parts of the body for brief periods of time. Something he did not do ahead of this summer's competition: Get vaccinated.

"It was kind of a last moment," Andrew told the Washington Post. "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 we do is very calculated."

According to some published reports, Andrew has been mentored, in part by another swimmer named Michael a few of us have heard of: Michael Phelps.

"It's cool that he's been intentional with reaching out to me and supporting me and encouraging where I'm at," Andrew told the New York Times.

As for his chances at medaling: In May the Encinitas resident swam the fastest 100m breaststroke in U.S. history. He's also posted the fastest US time ever in the 200m individual medley. He also matches up nicely against U.S. teammate Caeleb Dressel in a 50m freestyle.

When to Watch Andrew Light Up His Lane

It's only a matter of time till Andrew shows up on NBC's coverage of the Tokyo Olympics. But where and when, exactly?

July 24: 3:00 a.m. PDT: Heats for Men's 100M Breaststroke

July 28, 3:50 a.m. PDT: Heats for Men's 200 Individual Medley

July 30, 3:02 a.m PDT: Heats for Men's 50M Freestyle

Here’s the full schedule for swimming at the Tokyo Olympics.

Olympic Experience

This is Andrew's first Olympics, though he came within a whisker of qualifying for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Where is Michael Andrew From?

A complicated answer to a simple question: Andrew was born in Edina, Minnesota, on April 18, 1999, and grew up in South Dakota and Lawrence, Kansas, before settling in Encinitas in 2018.

Michael Andrew of the United States competes in a semifinal heat for the Men's 50m freestyle during Day 7 of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center on June 19, 2021, in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Fun Facts About Michael Andrew

  • Andrew has a successful YouTube channel, with more than 56,000 subscribers
  • The swimmer has been coached for most of his life by his father, Peter
  • While growing up, he trained in Kansas in a two-lane backyard pool
  • Andrew's mom, Tina, was on the Great Britain version of “Gladiators”
  • He enjoys surfing, sometimes hitting the waves with friend Caroline Marks, who qualified to compete in surfing at Tokyo Games

Listen/Subscribe to NBC 7’s Olympic Dreams: San Diego to Tokyo podcast wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts. On each episode, NBC 7 News Today anchor Steven Luke will sit down with athletes in their prime, each with their sights set on one thing: representing Team USA in Tokyo this summer. How will they achieve their Olympic dreams?

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