Tokyo Organizers Allow Nursing Athletes to Bring Children to Tokyo

Tokyo 2020 organizers announced that nursing mothers may bring their young children to the Olympics when necessary on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

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,” they wrote in an email, revising their previous rule which stated no family members will be allowed to attend the Games.

The children will stay in approved hotels and will not be allowed into the quarantined “bubble” that is the Olympic and Paralympic Village which will be off-limits for everyone besides athletes and team officials.

Canadian basketball player Kim Gaucher and American long-distance runner Aliphine Tuliamuk are two athletes who have been vocal about the previous decision to not allow any family members to attend the Olympic Games.

Gaucher gave birth to her daughter in March. “All I’ve ever wanted out of my basketball career is to rep Canada at the Olympics,” she said in a video on Twitter last Thursday. 

“Right now I’m being forced to decide between being a breastfeeding mom or an Olympic athlete…”

The basketball team will be gone for 28 days, she explained. 

Three days ago, Tuliamuk created a thread on Twitter of her thoughts on leaving her 5-month-old breastfeeding daughter behind to compete in the marathon in Tokyo. 

U.S. soccer player Alex Morgan, whose son was born in May 2020, also defended nursing mothers’ ability to breastfeed their children at the Olympics on social media. 

Her teammate Morgan Rapinoe reinforced Morgan’s thoughts on the organizers’ use of the words “when necessary.”

While there are no new parents on the 2021 U.S. Olympic swim team, there are at least two women who stand out in recent years who competed in the Olympics as new parents.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer competed on the 206 Rio Olympic team 17 months after giving birth to her son. 

12-time Olympic medalist Dara Torres qualified for her 5th Olympic Games in 2008, less than two years after giving birth to her first child.

Tokyo organizers still say they will allow 50 percent capacity in the Olympic venues, up to a maximum of 10,000 people. This is subject to change, though, as the Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto said the decision may be revisited.

Foreign spectators are still banned from attending, now with the exception of the breastfeeding children of nursing athletes.


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Reporting from Kichijoji Tokyo
2 years ago

??? They let Japanese mothers nurse in Tokyo and it’s more dangerous here, in Tokyo. People arriving for the Olympics will have negative tests. Foreigners arriving for the Olympics are safer than the Japanese populace. People in Japan don’t have negative tests. Most are not tested here and the vaccine rollout is very slow.

Time to talk truth: Japanese people pose a bigger risk to those visiting Japan. It’s time to start talking about restricting Japanese people during the Olympics, to keep them home, and let those who are safe be free while in Tokyo, without restrictions, to enjoy what they’ve earned.

Visiting athletes need to be protected from Japanese people! And yes, I say this to my Japanese friends.

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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