Supporters of Northport runner Mikey Brannigan have set up a fundraising campaign for his personal coach to be able to attend the Olympic/Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Because of Covid-19, Japan has severely limited the number of people who can attend the Olympic/Paralympic Games. Those connected with Paralympics also say that their athletes do not receive sufficient funding or support.
Brannigan is not the first paralympic athlete to run into problems. The Washington Post reported Monday that a deaf-blind swimmer had pulled out of the Paralympics because she wasn’t permitted to have a personal aide accompany her.
The Paralympics, which were postponed from 2020, will run from Aug.24-Sept. 5.
As of midday Tuesday, the Brannigans had raised $6,853 of their $15,000 goal;
“Due to Covid restrictions for the upcoming 2021 Olympic/Paralympic Games, we are not going to Tokyo to supervise him in any way. We recently learned that the USOPC (United States Olympic/Paralympic Committee) will not provide any travel accommodations for Mikey’s Coach/One on One, Sonja Robinson, to supervise and protect him in Tokyo,” Brannigan’s parents, Kevin and Edie said.
“It is unfortunate but not uncommon for an inadequate level of support for people with Autism and other Intellectual Disabilities. Our goal is to keep Mikey safe and focused in Tokyo. Sonja Robinson is the single most important person to care for Mikey and support his success,” they said.
Mikey Brannigan, 24, is a renowned athlete; The Northport High School graduate won a gold medal at the 2016 Paralympics. He ran a mile in 3:57.58 in 2016. In 2015, he was named as Sports Illustrated’s February High School Athlete of the Month and is a two-time High School All-American. He competes in 1,000 meter, 1,500 meter, and mile races.