Kim Gaucher — a member of the Canadian national women’s basketball team — says that she is “being forced to decide between being a breastfeeding mom or an Olympic athlete.”
Gaucher is a mom to a three-month-old daughter Sophie and has been told by Tokyo that she can’t participate in the Olympics and breastfeed her child as “Tokyo has said no friends, no family, no exceptions.
“All I’ve ever wanted out of my basketball career has been to rep [represent] Canada at the Olympics. Last year, my teammates and I qualified for Tokyo, but right now I’m being forced to decide between being a breastfeeding mom or an Olympic athlete,” Gaucher said in an Instagram video. “I can’t have them both. Tokyo has said ‘no friends, no family, no exceptions.’”
The Olympic games are less than one month away, and Gaucher seems to be desperate for a solution, asking the internet for help with her situation.
“I need the help of the internet,” Gaucher said. “If anybody knows anything, let’s see if we can make a difference. It’s 2021, let’s make working mom’s normal.”
According to the International Olympic Committee, it is highly unlikely that “unaccredited people from overseas” will be allowed at the games, and that appears to include breastfeeding infants.
“National Olympic Committees [NOCs] are responsible for the composition of their delegations at Games time, and the IOC is aware that a small number of them have been dealing with requests from athletes to bring their children on a case-by-case basis,” the IOC said in a statement to CBC News.
Gaucher’s frustration with the rules appears to be justified as media members from around the world will be covering the Games, and Japanese locals will be allowed to attend the events.
“Players and media are all flying in from around the world, Japanese fans are going to be in attendance, the arenas are going to be half full, but I will not have access to my daughter?”
Gaucher has looked at different options, including shipping milk back to Canada and stockpiling a milk supply, but neither appears to be a viable option at this time.
“The basketball team is going to be gone for 28 days,” Gaucher said. “People have told me to try to pump like mad. I don’t have enough milk in me to train as a high level athlete, get my butt back in shape, and feed her currently, all while stocking a 28 day supply. We’ve looked into shipping milk, we’ve run into complications, we’re still exploring that option. But it’s not going to be easy.”
“We’ve tried appeals. Everyone says they’re onboard, but nobody can do anything.”
An appeal was made by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canada Basketball in order to allow Gaucher’s husband and daughter to attend the games.
“In any other Games scenario, we would have long ago found a solution,” the COC said in a statement to CBC News.
“The Tokyo Olympic Games are understandably being conducted with an unprecedented focus on health and safety. This includes Japanese borders being closed to overseas visitors, family and friends.”
The committee said that there is a possibility that an exception could be made for Gaucher.
“It is our understanding that no children stayed at Olympic Villages during previous Games,” the statement read. “Nevertheless, there may be special circumstances, particularly with regard to infant children, and we will therefore continue to consult with the IOC and the [International Paralympic Committee] and solicit opinions from other relevant parties.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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