A deaf-blind Paralympian has withdrawn from Tokyo after being denied her personal care assistant.
Becca Meyers, from the US, claims that she was told by officials she couldn’t bring along her mum who is also her carer due to Covid. Instead, she was told she would have to use the same helper as the rest of the Olympians during her time in Japan.
The 26-year-old has now taken to Twitter and released a statement about her decision.
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It reads: “I’ve had to make the gut-wrenching decision to withdraw from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. I’m angry, I’m disappointed, and most of all I am sad to not be representing my country.
“The USOPC has denied reasonable and essential accommodation for me, as a deaf-blind athlete, to compete in Tokyo, telling me I do not need a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) ‘who I trust’ because there will be a single PCA on staff that is available to assist me and 33 other paralympic swimmers, 9 of whom are visually impaired.
“The USOPC has approved me having a trusted PCA (My Mom) at all sporting events since 2017, but this time it’s different. With COVID, there are new safety measures and limits on non-essential staff in place, rightfully so, but a trusted PCA is essential for me to compete.”
She concluded: “So, in 2021, why as a disabled person am I fighting for my rights? I am speaking up for future generations of Paralympic athletes in hope that they never have to experience the pain I’ve been through. Enough is enough!”
Previously, Team USA has stated that it will only be allowing ‘operational essential staff with roles related to the overall execution of the games’.
But Meyers has argued that her mum should be classed as essential.
Previously, the Paralympic swimmer has won six Olympic medals, with three being gold from her time at Rio in 2016.
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