“My mind still stays strong. I don’t want any vaccine. I’d rather miss the Olympics than take the vaccine; I am not taking it,” he was quoted as saying in Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.
“I don’t really want to get into it now, but I have my reasons.”
Positive energy with love and respect. #Loveyourself #StrongerTogether #mindset. https://t.co/8zfDpcBqD8
— Yohan Blake (@YohanBlake) 1614471938000
Blake, a one-time rival of Jamaican great Usain Bolt, will likely still be able to participate in what is expected to be the 31-year-old’s third and final Games even if he does not get the vaccine.
The International Olympic Committee has said getting the vaccine is “encouraged” but not compulsory for athletes.
“Follow your mind, don’t follow the crowd,” the two-time Olympic gold medalist said in a video posted to Twitter on Saturday.
“At the same time, be respectful to each and every one. Don’t let no one take away your choice.”
In life, you are what 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 the vaccine next week, The Gleaner reported.
Blake’s remarks came after a series of eight meets were held across the Caribbean island nation on Saturday, marking a return to large-scale sporting events that had been on hold due to the pandemic.
The Olympics, which were pushed back by a year due to the global health crisis, are set to begin on July 23 though speculation remains the event might yet be canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.