Deafblind swimmer withdraws from Tokyo Games because of row of assistants

COLORADO: American deafblind swimmer Becca Meyers (Photo) Said on Tuesday that she had withdrawn from the Tokyo Paralympic Games after the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee told her she could not bring a personal care assistant (PCA) to Japan.

Meyers, whose mother has been her personal care assistant at all international competitions since 2017, said the USOPC told her she did not need a PCA in Japan because there would be one available. to help him and 33 other Paralympic swimmers.

“I had to make the heartbreaking decision to retire from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” wrote Meyers, a six-time Paralympic Games medalist. Twitter. “I am angry, I am disappointed, but most of all, I am sad that I am not representing my country.”

The USOPC did not respond to a request for comment.

Meyers, who was born with Usher syndrome, a condition that affects both vision and hearing, said the USOPC had approved her to have a PCA at past international events, but that there were new security measures in place due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“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 disabled person, am I still fighting for my rights?

“I speak for future generations of Paralympic athletes in the hope that they will never have to feel the pain I have experienced. Enough is enough. “

Meyers, who started swimming in 2000, made his Paralympic Games debut in London 2012, winning a silver and a bronze. In 2016, she sealed her first three Paralympic titles, as well as a silver medal, setting two world records along the way. – Reuters

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