Becca Meyers, a 3-time Paralympic gold medalist swimmer, withdrew from the Tokyo games just after being advised she could not convey her individual care assistant to the competition.
The Baltimore native mentioned it was a “gut-wrenching determination” to go away, but insisted this shift was required to advocate “for foreseeable future generations of Paralympic athletes.”
“I’m indignant, I’m upset, but most of all, I’m sad not to be symbolizing my region,” Meyers claimed in a assertion on Tuesday.
Meyers, 26, has been deaf considering that delivery because of to Usher syndrome and has been step by step shedding her vision. The athlete mentioned she was denied her ask for to provide her particular care assistant, who is her mom, to the game titles.
Alternatively, just one personal care assistant will be tasked with serving all 34 Paralympic swimmers, 9 who are visually impaired, Meyers claimed.
“The USOPC has denied a acceptable & critical accommodation for me, as a deaf-blind athlete, to be ready to contend in Tokyo,” Meyers stated.
“The USOPC has permitted me obtaining a reliable PCA (my mom) at all intercontinental satisfies considering the fact that 2017, but this time, it is really different. With Covid, there are new safety measures and limitations to non-vital personnel in place, rightfully so, but a trusted PCA is crucial for me to contend.”
A consultant for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee could not be promptly arrived at for comment on Tuesday.
Meyers drew the support of U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, who called this a “preventable circumstance.”
“Folks who knowledge disabilities should not be pressured to navigate the Tokyo Olympicss without the guidance that they have to have,” the lawmaker said.
“This is an outrage and a preventable condition that really should have never gotten to this level. So I want the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to function promptly to handle this concern.”
Meyers is 1 of her sport’s most adorned athletes, bringing residence three golds, two silvers and a bronze medal from the 2012 London and 2016 Rio games.
Her 3 golds came 5 decades back in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter personal medley and 400-meter freestyle.
She also received silver in the 100-meter freestyle in Rio. 4 decades before in London, Meyers received silver in the 200-meter particular person medley and bronze in the 100-meter freestyle.
“So, in 2021, why as a disabled human being am I still preventing for my rights?” she wrote. “I am speaking up for foreseeable future generations of Paralympic athletes in hope that they in no way have to encounter the agony I’ve been by. Plenty of is enough.”
Opening and closing ceremonies for the Paralympic Video games are on Aug. 24 and Sept. 5, respectively.