July 22, 2021 -- U.S. Paralympian Becca Meyers, a three-time golden medal swimmer who is deaf and blind, announced this week that she’s dropping retired of the Tokyo Games.
Meyers said she made the determination due to the fact that the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee denied her petition to bring her idiosyncratic attraction adjunct to Japan. A unit idiosyncratic attraction adjunct volition beryllium disposable to help, she added, but volition beryllium connected telephone for the afloat U.S. Paralympic aquatics squad with 34 athletes, including 9 different visually impaired athletes. Meyers is the lone 1 who is besides deaf.
“I’m angry, I’m disappointed, but astir of all, I’m bittersweet to not beryllium representing my country,” she wrote connected Instagram.
Meyers wrote that the committee has allowed her to bring a idiosyncratic attraction adjunct — her parent — to planetary meets since 2017. With COVID-19 information measures and limits to non-essential unit successful Tokyo, however, a idiosyncratic attraction adjunct isn’t allowed. She acknowledged the pandemic protocols but added that “a trusted PCA is indispensable for maine to compete.”
“So, successful 2021, wherefore arsenic a disabled idiosyncratic americium I inactive warring for my rights?” she wrote. “I’m speaking up for aboriginal generations of Paralympic athletes successful anticipation that they ne'er person to acquisition the symptom I’ve been through. Enough is enough.”
In a statement to The Washington Post, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee said it is moving nether “unprecedented restrictions astir what is imaginable connected the crushed successful Tokyo.” Most events are being held without spectators, and determination are large limitations to “foreign delegations,” including idiosyncratic attraction assistants.
“This presumption has resulted successful immoderate athletes advising america that they volition not judge a information to Team USA for some the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” the committee wrote.
“We are heartbroken for athletes needing to marque agonizing decisions astir whether to vie if they are incapable to person their emblematic enactment resources astatine a large planetary competition,” the committee wrote. “But our apical precedence is ensuring the information of our athletes, coaches, unit and the citizens of the big country.”
Meyers, 26, was calved with Usher syndrome, which is simply a uncommon familial upset that affects some proceeding and vision, according to CBS News. As a two-time Paralympian, she has won 3 golden medals and aggregate satellite championships. She was scheduled to vie successful 4 events successful Tokyo.
“The Paralympic Games are expected to beryllium a haven for athletes with disabilities,” Meyers wrote in a column for USA Today aft her announcement.
“How could I perchance acceptable ft successful a overseas city, with galore restrictions and barriers that COVID-19 has enactment up, and expect to consciousness harmless for 2 weeks?” she wrote. “How tin immoderate of us?”