Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Becca Meyers competes during Day 3 of the 2021 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials, at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center, in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 19.

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

American swimmer Becca Meyers has pulled out of the Paralympics because she says the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee won’t let her bring her mother to Tokyo as her personal care assistant.

Meyers, who is deaf and blind as the result of a rare genetic disorder, won three gold medals at the last Paralympics. In a statement explaining her withdrawal, she said the USOPC had approved her mother to act as her assistant at all international meets since 2017.

The USOPC said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are increased restrictions on delegation size at the Tokyo Games, which has left the federation only one slot for a PCA who will have to assist 34 Paralympic swimmers. The PCA has more than 27 years of coaching experience and 11 years with para swimmers, the USOPC said.

Story continues below advertisement

“This PCA joins a staff of 10 additional accomplished swim professionals, all who have experience with blind swimmers; totalling 11 staff for 34 athletes,” the USOPC said in a statement.

“The decisions we’ve made on behalf of the team have not been easy, and we are heartbroken for athletes who are unable to have their previous support resources available,” the USOPC said. “We are confident in the level of support we will offer Team USA and look forward to providing them a positive athlete experience even in the most unprecedented times.”

Meyers, 26, said she made the decision to drop out because she is “speaking up for future generations of Paralympic athletes in hope that they never have to experience the pain I’ve been through.”

Several members of Congress have seen Meyers’s story and taken to to social media to voice their support.

“It is disgraceful that she was denied essential and reasonable accommodations, which led to her withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics. Our Paralympic athletes deserve better,” Maryland Senator Ben Cardin tweeted.

Sign up for The Globe’s Olympic newsletter and follow all of the news, features and opinion in the lead-up to the Summer Games in Tokyo.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies