Becca Meyers, a swimmer who was seen as a favorite to bring gold home from Tokyo, has canceled plans for the Paralympics after being told she can’t bring a personal care assistant to Japan, National Public Radio reports. Meyers is deaf and blind, but U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials say they don’t have space for her to bring an aide because of coronavirus restrictions.
“I’ve had to make the gut-wrenching decision to withdraw from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics,” Meyers said today in a statement posted on her Facebook page. “I’m angry, I’m disappointed, but most of all, I’m sad to not be representing my country.”
Meyers says officials have not taken her and other athletes’ needs into account. She won three gold medals at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, but in strange new surroundings, she she had a hard time with essential tasks on her own, such as finding the athletes’ dining hall.
Since then, her mother has accompanied her at competitions as a personal care assistant. But after being told her mother can’t join her in Tokyo, Meyers pulled out.