In a bid to encourage more and more female athletes to participate, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee have now allowed athletes who are breastfeeding to bring their young children to the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
The Games, which have already been delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are not allowing international guests, including friends and family members. This caused apprehension among many young mothers, conflicted between their children and representing their countries.
In fact, marathoner Aliphine Tuliamuk, who is currently nursing Zoe, her four-month-old daughter, took to Instagram to share her concerns, stating that she didn't want to choose between staying with her daughter or competing in Tokyo.
If that’s not all, Canadian basketball player, Kim Gaucher, said in an emotional Instagram video that she was “being forced to decide between being a breastfeeding mom or an Olympic athlete.” Moreover, 10 athletes from the United States alone, are mothers, including sprinter Allyson Felix and soccer player Alex Morgan.
Taking their apprehensions into consideration, the Tokyo 2020 organisers issued a statement on June 30, lauding athletes who were parents, and announced that there would be an exception made for those participants who are breastfeeding.
In the statement to TODAY, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that nursing mothers will be able to stay outside of the Olympic Village in private accommodations, and added that they could be accompanied by “a caretaker or a partner to help them out.” However, no further information has been released. The IOC said that they were “very pleased to hear that the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has found a special solution” for “mothers who are breastfeeding and their young children.”