(AP) — Canadian basketball
player Kim Gaucher
, who is breastfeeding
her infant daughter, has won her bid to bring the child to the Tokyo Olympics
, which she described as the "right decision for women
The International Olympic Committee
announced on Wednesday that nursing mothers will be allowed to bring their babies to the Games in Tokyo, following Gaucher's emotional plea on Instagram
to bring her 3-month-old Sophie with her.
Gaucher, 37, of Mission, British
Columbia, said the IOC
had forced her to make a difficult decision: skip the Olympics
or spend 28 days in Tokyo without her daughter.
“We are very pleased to hear that the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has found a special solution regarding the entry to Japan
of mothers who are breastfeeding and their young children
,” the IOC said in a statement.
Gaucher said she found out about the news
from her husband while at training camp in Florida
“I’m incredibly happy and very thankful for everyone who fought for this and helped with this,” she said. “There can be moments of frustration, but I think women’s sports is evolving and sometimes it takes a little bit of time for everyone to get on the same page. I’m happy that this decision has been made. The right decision for women in sports, and we can move forward.”
Due to COVID-19
restrictions, the IOC had stipulated that no family
to Tokyo, but Gaucher pointed out that international media
and sponsors could travel to Tokyo, and a limited number of Japanese spectators would be permitted in venues.
will be in attendance, the arenas will be half full, but I will not be able to see my daughter?” Gaucher said in her 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 make working moms normal.”
Other athletes who have qualified for Tokyo are affected by the new policy, including American soccer
star Alex Morgan, whose daughter, Charlie, was born in May 2020 and has been able to accompany her mother on the road.
Morgan told reporters in April
that it was critical “to give mothers the option of having their children with them while they compete... if a child is under 1 or 2, they may still be breastfeeding, so that’s a huge piece of it.”
Both Gaucher and Morgan will compete in their third Olympics in Tokyo.
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