Becca Meyers, a a few-time Paralympic gold medalist swimmer, withdrew from the Tokyo video games following getting informed she could not bring her individual treatment assistant to the levels of competition.
The Baltimore indigenous said it was a “gut-wrenching determination” to leave, but insisted this go was necessary to advocate “for future generations of Paralympic athletes.”
“I am angry, I’m let down, but most of all, I am unhappy not to be symbolizing my place,” Meyers stated in a statement on Tuesday.
Meyers, 26, has been deaf given that beginning owing to Usher syndrome and has been progressively dropping her vision. The athlete mentioned she was denied her ask for to bring her individual care assistant, who is her mother, to the games.
As a substitute, 1 personal treatment assistant will be tasked with serving all 34 Paralympic swimmers, 9 who are visually impaired, Meyers reported.
“The USOPC has denied a affordable & necessary accommodation for me, as a deaf-blind athlete, to be ready to contend in Tokyo,” Meyers claimed.
“The USOPC has authorized me getting a trusted PCA (my mom) at all intercontinental fulfills because 2017, but this time, it truly is different. With Covid, there are new security steps and limits to non-critical staff in place, rightfully so, but a reliable PCA is important for me to compete.”
A agent for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee could not be immediately arrived at for remark on Tuesday.
Meyers drew the assistance of U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, who termed this a “preventable predicament.”
“People who expertise disabilities ought to not be pressured to navigate the Tokyo Olympicss with no the support that they require,” the lawmaker explained.
“This is an outrage and a preventable predicament that really should have never ever gotten to this point. So I want the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to do the job straight away to deal with this situation.”
Meyers is 1 of her sport’s most decorated athletes, bringing property 3 golds, two silvers and a bronze medal from the 2012 London and 2016 Rio online games.
Her three golds arrived five yrs back in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter person medley and 400-meter freestyle.
She also won silver in the 100-meter freestyle in Rio. Four a long time previously in London, Meyers received silver in the 200-meter personal medley and bronze in the 100-meter freestyle.
“So, in 2021, why as a disabled man or woman am I nonetheless fighting for my legal rights?” she wrote. “I am speaking up for long term generations of Paralympic athletes in hope that they in no way have to practical experience the soreness I’ve been by. Adequate is plenty of.”
Opening and closing ceremonies for the Paralympic Games are on Aug. 24 and Sept. 5, respectively.