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Breastfeeding Olympians allowed to bring babies to Tokyo


A Canadian basketball player who is breastfeeding her newborn daughter has won her quest to bring the baby to the Tokyo Olympics

The International Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday that nursing mothers will now be allowed to bring their babies to Tokyo. The move comes after Goucher made an emotional plea via Instagram to 3-month-old Sophie to travel with him to games.

Goucher, 37, from Mission, British Columbia, said the IOC was forcing her to make a tough choice: skip the Olympics or spend 28 days in Tokyo without her daughter.

“We highly welcome the fact that so many mothers are able to continue competing at the highest level, including at the Olympic Games,” the IOC said in a statement. “We are very pleased to learn that the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has found a special solution regarding the admission of lactating mothers and their young children to Japan.”

“I am incredibly happy and very grateful to all the people who fought for and helped with this,” she said. “There may be moments of despair, but I think the women’s sport is evolving and sometimes it takes a while for everyone to be on the same page. I am glad that this decision has been taken. Right decision for women in sports and we can move forward.”

The IOC had determined that no family could travel to Tokyo due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Goucher pointed out that international media and sponsors could travel to Tokyo and that a limited number of Japanese visitors were allowed to visit the venues. will be allowed.

“Japanese fans are going to be in attendance, the arena is about to be half full, but I won’t have access to my daughter?” Goucher said in his video. “We’ve tried appeals. Everyone says they’re on board, but nobody can do anything. Let’s see if we can make a difference. It’s 2021. Let’s normalize working moms.”

The new policy affects other athletes who have qualified for Tokyo, including US soccer 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 that it was important that “mothers were given the option to have their babies with them during competition . . . If a child is under 1 or 2 years of age, they are still breastfed. If so, that’s a big part of it.”

Both Goucher and Morgan will compete in their third Olympics in Tokyo.

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More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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