Becca Meyers, a Paralympic swimmer, has left the USA team after being denied a care assistant. She withdrew from the 2021 Tokyo games earlier this week after being told she couldn't bring her personal care assistant to the competition.
Meyers said that it was a "gut-wrenching decision" to leave but it was necessary to do in order to advocate for "future generations of Paralympic athletes."
In a statement on Tuesday Meyers said: "I'm angry, I'm disappointed, but most of all, I'm sad not to be representing my country."
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. Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/p9tKsbPip2
— Becca Meyers (@becca_meyers) July 20, 2021
"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 has denied a reasonable and 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 thirty-three other Paralympic swimmers, 9 of whom are also visually impaired," the statement read.
"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."
Meyers trusted PCA is her mom, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, non-essential staff aren't allowed to be in place. However, Meyers says that she needs her mom, acting as her PCA, in order to compete.
Twenty-six-year-old Meyers has been deaf since birth due to Usher syndrome and has been losing her vision too. The 1 personal care assistant in which they'll have at the competition will be tasked with helping all thirty-four swimmers.
The U.S. Senator backed Meyers in a recent speech:
Becca Meyers is a six-time Paralympic medalist — but she's facing dangerous inequities that are forcing her out of this year's games.
I'm calling on the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to ensure that ALL athletes receive the accommodation and support they need to compete. pic.twitter.com/vrsrRPConK
— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) July 20, 2021
"Becca Meyers is a 6-time Paralympic medalist--but she's facing dangerous inequities that are forcing her out of this year's games. I'm calling on the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to ensure that ALL athletes receive the accommodation and support they need to compete," she wrote in a Twitter post.
In her speech, she said: "She is deaf-blind but in the past, that hasn't stopped her from competing and winning at the highest levels. This year though she and other athletes from Team USA who experience disabilities are being denied adequate access to personal care assistants."
"This is an outrage and a preventable situation that should have never gotten to this point. So I want the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to work immediately to address this issue," she finished.
In the past, Meyers has brought home 3 gold medals, 2 silvers and a bronze medal from the 2012 London and 2016 Rio games, specializing in the 100-meter fly, 200-meter individual medley, and 400-meter freestyle.
"Enough is enough."