July 22, 2021 — U.S. Paralympian Becca Meyers, a three-time gold medal swimmer who’s deaf and blind, introduced this week that she’s dropping out of the Tokyo Video games.
Meyers mentioned she made the choice as a result of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee denied her request to deliver her private care assistant to Japan. A workers private care assistant will likely be obtainable to assist, she added, however will likely be on name for the complete U.S. Paralympic swim group with 34 athletes, together with 9 different visually impaired athletes. Meyers is the one one who can also be deaf.
“I’m indignant, I’m upset, however most of all, I’m unhappy to not be representing my nation,” she wrote on Instagram.
Meyers wrote that the committee has allowed her to deliver a private care assistant — her mom — to worldwide meets since 2017. With COVID-19 security measures and limits to non-essential workers in Tokyo, nonetheless, a private care assistant isn’t allowed. She acknowledged the pandemic protocols however added that “a trusted PCA is crucial for me to compete.”
“So, in 2021, why as a disabled individual am I nonetheless preventing for my rights?” she wrote. “I’m talking up for future generations of Paralympic athletes in hope that they by no means need to expertise the ache I’ve been by. Sufficient is sufficient.”
In a statement to The Washington Publish, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee mentioned it’s working beneath “unprecedented restrictions round what is feasible on the bottom in Tokyo.” Most occasions are being held with out spectators, and there are main limitations to “international delegations,” together with private care assistants.
“This place has resulted in some athletes advising us that they won’t settle for a nomination to Group USA for each the Olympic and Paralympic Video games,” the committee wrote.
“We’re heartbroken for athletes needing to make agonizing choices about whether or not to compete if they’re unable to have their typical help assets at a serious worldwide competitors,” the committee wrote. “However our high precedence is making certain the security of our athletes, coaches, workers and the residents of the host nation.”
Meyers, 26, was born with Usher syndrome, which is a uncommon genetic dysfunction that impacts each listening to and imaginative and prescient, in accordance to CBS News. As a two-time Paralympian, she has gained three gold medals and a number of world championships. She was scheduled to compete in 4 occasions in Tokyo.
“The Paralympic Video games are imagined to be a haven for athletes with disabilities,” Meyers wrote in a column for USA Right now after her announcement.
“How may I presumably set foot in a international metropolis, with quite a few restrictions and obstacles that COVID-19 has put up, and anticipate to really feel secure for 2 weeks?” she wrote. “How can any of us?”