Olympic organizers have changed course and reversed a policy that would have prevented breastfeeding moms from bringing their children to Japan for the summer games.
The International Olympic Committee previously reduced delegation sizes and prohibited athletes’ family members from accompanying them to the Olympics as part of strict COVID-19 countermeasures, Yahoo Sports reports. The Tokyo organizing committee had previously denied requests for exemptions from moms with young children, but reversed course on Wednesday.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials told Yahoo Sports that Tokyo organizers had declined a request from U.S. marathoner Aliphine Tuliamuk, who wanted to bring her 5-month-old daughter, Zoe, to the Games.
Tuliamuk and Canadian basketball player Kim Gaucher, also a new mother, had been preparing to travel without their infants, the article states.
Just two days earlier, an IOC spokesperson, citing Japanese authorities, had told Yahoo Sports that it was “highly unlikely” that any “unaccredited people from overseas” — which would have include infants and caregivers — would be granted entry into Japan for the Games.
An organizing committee spokesperson had said Monday that it had “basically been decided to give up on allowing athletes’ family members and other companions.”
David Shoemaker, the CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee said he was “pleased to hear that Tokyo 2020 approved our request to allow nursing mothers to have their children at the Games.”