Michael Andrew reacts after competing in the Men’s 100m breaststroke final at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials on June 14, 2021 in Omaha, Neb.
OMAHA, Neb. – Michael Andrew does it again.
The 2016 world champion secured his spot on the U.S. Olympic Team for the first time ever this evening at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming following yet another amazing run in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke final.
Andrew, 22, finished the race in 58.73, which was surprisingly the slowest time he concluded in the 100 breast. Andrew Wilson finished only a hundredth of a second behind at 58.74, giving him the opportunity to qualify for the roster heading into the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“It’s still hard to believe it’s real, it’s been five years in the making,” Andrew said. “I remember the walk down the stairs so vividly from 2016 [at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming], not making that team as a 17-year-old. To be able come back now and rectify that is a dream come true.”
The preliminary round and semifinals couldn’t have gone any better for Andrew on the first day of Trials, as he broke two American Records in the men’s 100 breast – the first setting his time as the No. 3 fastest in the world in 58.19 and the second breaking that record at 58.14.
Andrew said his strategy was re-evaluated for each stage of the race, yet the execution did not meet up to his expectations throughout.
“My strategy each race changed mentally – like my goals and plan going into it changed,” Andrew said. “But the execution, I felt like, actually got worse throughout [the rest of the event]. But coming home, I got too focused on what was happening around me and made a little bit of a rookie mistake, and made everybody stress a bit coming into the wall.”
Andrew also qualified for the men’s 100-meter backstroke final, which takes place tomorrow evening. He completed Heat 2 of the semifinals in 53.82 to finish in the top eight only one event after he competed in the 100 breaststroke final.
“My plan coming into this evening was to not think about the backstroke at all,” Andrew said. “I knew if I came into it thinking about the double, that would mentally have some sort of drawback on my 100 breast.”
While qualifying for Tokyo and earning a spot in the 100 backstroke are the highlights for Andrew’s day, he’s also very appreciative of his entire family for being at the CHI Health Center to support him the whole way.
“A few months ago, I didn’t expect my family to even be here together as a team,” Andrew said. "We just went through a very heavy, hectic season. The fact that my whole family is here together, celebrating, cheering, loving on one another, is just hard to put into words – I’m just really grateful my whole team is here.”