With the end of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics begins the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. For those of you unfamiliar with the competition, it is a modified version of the Olympics featuring athletes with varying physical disabilities.
However, it seems that the 2020 Paralympic Games will undergo the same rigorous COVID restrictions enacted during the Olympics. The situation in Japan remains daunting, as COVID numbers climb, and emergency declarations roll out.
Paralympic COVID Restrictions
While the country is dedicated to hosting a safe and successful Paralympic tournament, several measures must be taken to prevent the spread of COVID.
The first of these is a requirement that there be no live spectators at the event. It is a preventative measure that was also taken at the Olympic Games.
Athletes will also be lodging in a bubble-style Olympic village, with facility improvements for the maintenance of aids such as wheelchairs and artificial limbs.
Although several accommodations are being made for both the COVID conditions in Japan and the needs of individual competitors, it might not be enough.
Despite the efforts made during the Summer Olympics, there were reports of several COVID infections throughout the Olympic Village. But COVID infection isn’t necessarily the main concern of these Paralympic athletes.
How Restrictions Affect Athletes
Many of the Paralympic competitors are having to compromise access to personal care assistants to maintain COVID safety. For these athletes, this means major hindrances in acts as minor as navigation around the village.
Becca Meyers, a former swimmer for Team USA, recently had to withdraw from the Paralympic Games due to such circumstances.
Her mother, Maria Meyers, has accompanied Becca to both the 2012 Paralympics and the 2016 Rio Games. As a deaf and blind Paralympian, her mother’s presence and guidance are essential to navigating new and chaotic environments.
However, Becca was informed by Team USA that COVID restrictions barred her mother from attending the Tokyo games with her. For Meyers, the choice was between achieving her dreams or ensuring her safety and security: she chose the latter.
Since her story went public, various fingers have been pointed as to who is responsible for this complete disregard of Paralympian needs. But nothing has changed since. There are likely many others in the same position as Becca Meyers.
It brings attention to the issue of balancing the personal needs of people with the measures required to host events responsibly. It is tricky, and situations like these make you wonder if it is even possible to find a middle ground.
Where It Leaves Sports Bettors
In the meantime, we make do with what is available to us. Which for most of us, consists of watching and betting from home.
Yes, you can bet on the Paralympic Games. And that is a good thing! It has been shown that online sports betting engagement helps increase the relevance of different sports.
There are several states offering 18+ sports betting. Within these states are a variety of options that can make it hard to commit to a sportsbook. We make it easy with reviews and legal information to help you find the right fit.