BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland native and two-time Paralympian Becca Meyers announced Tuesday she will be withdrawing from the Tokyo Paralympic Games after the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee “repeatedly denied” her “reasonable and essential accommodation” to bring her mother to the games.

Meyers, who is deaf and blind, needs her mother, who is her personal care assistant, to be there with her.

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“I’ve had to make the gut-wrenching decision to withdraw from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics,” Meyers said in a statement posted to Twitter. “I’m angry, I’m disappointed, but most of all, I’m sad to not be representing my country.

The six-time medalist said the USOPC told her she doesn’t need a PCA she trusts because there’s a single PCA on staff that can assist her and 33 other Paralympic swimmers.

Her mom has been with her at all international meets since 2017.

“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,” Meyers wrote. “So, in 2021, why as a disabled person am I still fighting for my rights?”

Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) tweeted support for Meyers.

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

“It is shameful that after earning her rightful place, Becca is being deprived of her ability to compete in Tokyo,” tweeted Hogan. “The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee should immediately reverse its decision.”

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This story was originally posted on July 20, 2021. 

CBS Baltimore Staff