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Tokyo Olympics | Breastfeeding mothers allowed to take babies to Games

Canadian basketball player Kim Gaucher, who is breastfeeding her baby daughter, won in her quest to bring the baby to the Tokyo Olympics, which she called “the right move for women in sport.”

The International Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday that nursing mothers will now be allowed to bring their babies to Tokyo. The move comes after Gaucher made an emotional appeal via Instagram for three-month-old Sophie to travel with her to the Games.

Gaucher, a 37-year-old woman from Mission, B.C., said the IOC is forcing her to make a tough choice: skip the Olympics or spend 28 days in Tokyo without her daughter.

“We warmly welcome the fact that so many mothers can continue to compete at the highest level, including at the Olympic Games,” the IOC said in a statement. “We are very happy to hear that the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has found a special solution regarding entry to Japan for breastfeeding mothers and their young children.”

Gaucher said he heard the news from her husband on Wednesday morning while at training camp in Florida.

“I am incredibly happy and very grateful to all the people who fought for this and helped with this,” she said.

“There can be times of frustration, but I think women’s sport is changing and sometimes it takes a little while for everyone to be on the same page. I’m glad that decision was made. The right decision for women in sports and we can move forward. ”

The IOC had stipulated that no family could travel to Tokyo due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Gaucher stressed that international media and sponsors can travel to Tokyo and that a limited number of Japanese spectators will be allowed. on the sites.

“The Japanese fans are going to be there, the arenas are going to be half full, but I won’t have access to my daughter?” Gaucher said in his video. “We’ve tried calls. Everyone says they’re on board, but there’s nothing nobody can do. Let’s see if we can tell the difference. It’s 2021. Let’s make working mothers normal.”

The new policy affects other athletes who have qualified for Tokyo, including American football star Alex Morgan, whose daughter, Charlie, was born in May 2020 and was able to accompany her mother on the road.

Morgan told reporters in April it was important “to give mothers the opportunity to have their children with them while they compete.” ”

Gaucher and Morgan will both compete in their third Olympics in Tokyo.

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