“My mind stays strong. I don’t want a vaccine. I’d rather miss the Olympics than take the vaccine; I don’t take it,” he told Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.
“I don’t really want to get started now, but I have my reasons.”
Positive energy with love and respect. #Loveyourself #StrongerTogether #mindset. https://t.co/8zfDpcBqD8
– Yohan Blake (@YohanBlake) 1614471938000
Blake, former rival of the great Jamaican Usain Bolt, will likely still be able to compete in what is expected to be the 31-year-old’s third and final Games, even if he doesn’t get the shot.
The International Olympic Committee said the vaccine was “encouraged” but not mandatory for athletes.
“Follow your mind, don’t follow the crowd,” the two-time Olympic gold medalist said in a video posted on Twitter on Saturday.
“At the same time, be respectful to everyone. Don’t let anyone take away your choice.”
In life, you are who you think you are, not what people think you are. Don’t follow the crowd. Have a mind of your … https://t.co/nZZj8nQaX4
– Yohan Blake (@YohanBlake) 1614469632000
The Jamaican government is expected to receive its first shipment of vaccine next week, The Gleaner reported.
Blake’s remarks came after a series of eight meetings that took place in the Caribbean island nation on Saturday, marking a return to large-scale sporting events that had been put on hold due to the pandemic.
The Olympics, which have been postponed for a year due to the global health crisis, are scheduled to begin on July 23, although speculation remains the event could still be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.