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Becca Meyers: American deafblind Paralympian withdraws from Tokyo Games after request to bring her mother refused

By on July 20, 2021 0
“I had to make the heartbreaking decision to withdraw from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games”, Meyers wrote in a statement. “I am angry, I am disappointed, but most of all, I am sad that I am not representing my country.”

Meyers wrote that her mother had acted as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) at all of her international meetings since 2017, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, the USOPC denied her request for her mother to serve in this title in Tokyo. She said the USOPC is providing just one PCA to help all 33 U.S. Paralympic swimmers, nine of whom are visually impaired.

“With Covid, new security measures and limits for non-essential personnel are in place, and rightly so, but a trusted BCP is essential for me to be able to compete,” Meyers wrote.

“So in 2021, why as a person with a disability am I still fighting for my rights? I speak out for future generations of Paralympic athletes in the hope that they will never have to feel the pain I’ve been through. Enough is enough. “

CNN has contacted the USOPC for comment.

Meyers, 26, from Baltimore, Md., Has won six medals at two previous Paralympics. At the Rio Games in 2016, she won three gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley and 400-meter freestyle.
She suffers from Usher syndrome, a genetic condition that causes deafness or hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease that affects vision and gets worse over time. She has been deaf since birth and has used a cochlear implant since she was young, according to her Team USA bio.
The Olympic Games start on Friday and last until August 8, with the Paralympic Games following on August 24. The Games are being held this year in Tokyo under extraordinary restrictions with the aim of safely staging the massive event amid the Covid-19 pandemic. .
Meyers’ fate has already garnered high-level interest. In Congress Tuesday, US Senator Maggie Hassan, Democrat of New Hampshire, talked about Meyers during a hearing before the Committee on Health, Education, Work and Pensions.

“It’s a scandal and a preventable situation that should never have happened to this point,” Hassan said. “I want the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee to work immediately to resolve this issue, and I want them to make sure all of our athletes are able to compete safely at this summer’s games, including providing them with support base which they navigate the world. “



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