A DEAF-blind athlete has quit the Toyko Paralympics because her carer mom is not allowed to travel with her due to Covid.
Becca Meyers, 26, called her decision “gut wrenching” and said it has left her “sad, angry, and disappointed.”
Becca Meyers has quit the Toyko Paralympics[/caption]
Meyers, 26, called her decision ‘gut wrenching’[/caption]
The swimmer – who won three gold medals at Rio 2016 – had asked that her mom Maria be allowed to come with her as her personal care assistant (PCA).
But officials refused her request, saying she would have to use the same PCA as 33 other athletes.
The comes following a ban on spectators and a limit on who can come to the Games.
Meyers suffers from Usher syndrome; she has been deaf since birth and progressively lost her sight.
She shared a statement to Twitter, writing: “I’ve had to make the gut-wrenching decision to withdraw from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“I’m angry, I’m disappointed, but most of all, I’m sad not to be representing my country.
“The USOPC has denied a reasonable & essential accommodation for me, as a deaf-blind athlete, to be able to compete in Toyko, telling me repeatedly that 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 also visually impaired.
“The USOPC has approved me having a trusted PCA (my mom) at all international meets since 2017, but this time it’s different.
“With COVID, there are new safety measures and limits of non-essential staff in place, rightfully so, but a trusted PCA is essential for me to compete.
“So, in 2021, why as a disabled person am I still fighting for my rights?
“I’m 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.”
She tweeted her statement, writing: “Heartbroken to share that I’m withdrawing from the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
“The USOPC has repeatedly denied my reasonable and essential accommodation because of my disability, leaving me no choice.”
The USOPC told The Washington Post: “We are dealing with unprecedented restrictions around what is possible on the ground in Tokyo.
“As it’s been widely reported, [the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games], at the direction of the government of Japan, is not permitting any personnel other than operational essential staff with roles related to the overall execution of the games, into the country.
“This position has resulted in some athletes advising us that they will not accept a nomination to Team USA for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“We are heartbroken for athletes needing to make agonizing decisions about whether to compete if they are unable to have their typical support resources at a major international competition, but our top priority is ensuring the safety of our athletes, coaches, staff and the citizens of the host country.”
Tokyo 2020 chief Toshiro Muto said on Tuesday he was prepared to discuss a last-minute cancellation of the games.
That comes as Games-linked Covid cases continue to rise.
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Muto said: “We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases.
“We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again.
“At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”
Source: The Sun
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