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Nursing mothers competing in Tokyo Olympics can bring kids along as organisers relent

Nursing mothers competing in Tokyo Olympics can bring kids along as organisers relent(Credit: CBC)

Athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics, some of whom happen to be nursing mothers, will be allowed to bring their children along, the organising committee of the Games said in a statement on Wednesday.

A major controversy had arisen as some nursing mothers were caught in an awkward situation as the organising committee for the Tokyo Olympics is not allowing friends and family members due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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. Marathon runner  Aliphine Tuliamuk, who is currently nursing her 4-month-old daughter, wrote on Instagram that she didn't want to choose between staying with her daughter or competing in Tokyo.


As many as 10 athletes from the United States are mothers, including sprinter Allyson Felix and soccer star Alex Morgan.

Early Wednesday morning, the Tokyo 2020 organizers issued a statement praising athletes who were parents and announcing that there would be an exception made for those who are breastfeeding.

"Given that the Tokyo 2020 Games will take place during a pandemic, overall we must unfortunately decline to permit athletes' family members or other companions to accompany them to the Games," said the organization in a statement.


 "However, after careful consideration of the unique situation facing athletes with nursing children, we are pleased to confirm that, when necessary, nursing children will be able to accompany athletes to Japan," the statement added.

However, the organisers said that nursing children must stay in approved hotels because the residential zone of the Olympic Village is restricted for everyone other than athletes and team officials.

The Tokyo Olympics, have been delayed for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will now begin on July 23.