Becca Meyers, a a few-time Paralympic gold medalist swimmer, withdrew from the Tokyo online games right after getting instructed she could not provide her private care assistant to the levels of competition.
The Baltimore indigenous reported it was a “intestine-wrenching determination” to leave, but insisted this move was essential to advocate “for long term generations of Paralympic athletes.”
“I’m offended, I’m disappointed, but most of all, I’m unhappy not to be representing my place,” Meyers claimed in a assertion on Tuesday.
Meyers, 26, has been deaf since delivery owing to Usher syndrome and has been gradually getting rid of her vision. The athlete claimed she was denied her ask for to carry her own treatment assistant, who is her mom, to the online games.
Instead, a single personal treatment assistant will be tasked with serving all 34 Paralympic swimmers, nine who are visually impaired, Meyers reported.
“The USOPC has denied a affordable & critical lodging for me, as a deaf-blind athlete, to be ready to compete in Tokyo,” Meyers reported.
“The USOPC has permitted me having a trustworthy PCA (my mom) at all worldwide fulfills since 2017, but this time, it is really various. With Covid, there are new security measures and limits to non-necessary employees in area, rightfully so, but a reliable PCA is important for me to contend.”
A consultant for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee could not be straight away reached for remark on Tuesday.
Meyers drew the support of U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, who called this a “preventable problem.”
“People who encounter disabilities should really not be pressured to navigate the Tokyo Olympicss devoid of the aid that they have to have,” the lawmaker reported.
“This is an outrage and a preventable problem that need to have never ever gotten to this level. So I want the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to do the job straight away to deal with this concern.”
Meyers is a single of her sport’s most decorated athletes, bringing dwelling three golds, two silvers and a bronze medal from the 2012 London and 2016 Rio games.
Her a few golds came 5 years back in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter unique medley and 400-meter freestyle.
She also received silver in the 100-meter freestyle in Rio. Four several years before in London, Meyers gained silver in the 200-meter person medley and bronze in the 100-meter freestyle.
“So, in 2021, why as a disabled person am I nevertheless fighting for my legal rights?” she wrote. “I am speaking up for long run generations of Paralympic athletes in hope that they hardly ever have to expertise the soreness I’ve been via. More than enough is plenty of.”
Opening and closing ceremonies for the Paralympic Games are on Aug. 24 and Sept. 5, respectively.