Becca Meyers, who is a United States Paralympic swimmer, has withdrawn from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics due to not being able to bring her medical assistant. The U.S. Paralympian withdrew from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) denied her request to have her own personal care assistant (PCA) amid coronavirus restrictions.
The twenty-six year old medalist is both blind and deaf, was wanting her PCA to be her mother at the Olympics claiming that one PCA for 34 athletes is insufficient. Meyers posted on Twitter how she felt about withdrawing from the 2021 Olympics.
“The USOPC has denied a reasonable & essential accommodation for me, as a deaf-blind athlete, to be able to compete in Tokyo, telling me repeatedly that I do not need a Personal Care Assistant ‘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 of Meyers bringing her own mother as her assistant to all international meets since 2017. With the new COVID limits and restrictions for this years Olympics, they are permitting Meyers to bring her own assistant. Meyers was quoted saying “a trusted PCA is essential for me to compete.”
Meyers was born deaf due to Usher syndrome which is a rare genetic disorder and she gradually lost her vision.
The Baltimore native and Marshall University graduate won 3 gold medals in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games. She was a winner of the 100m butterfly, 200m medley, and 400m freestyle. Meyers was also a recipient of the Best Female Athlete with a Disability ESPY Award in 2015 and 2017.
Rebecca Meyers concluded her tweet about withdrawing from the Olympics with stating how offended she was that “In 2021, why as a disabled person am I fighting for my rights?” She also stated that she is standing up and speaking out for future generations of Paralympic athletes in hopes that they don’t have to go through the pain that she is going through.
“I’m angry, I’m disappointed, but most of all, I’m sad to not be representing my country,” Meyers wrote.