TOKYO – Spanish synchronized swimmer Ona Carbonell has said she is disappointed and disappointed that she will not be able to bring her infant son to the Olympics because her family would be subject to such drastic restrictions in Japan.
Her husband and son Kai, who is almost a year old, would have to be quarantined in a separate hotel and would not be able to leave their room for the roughly 20 days that she would be in Japan, she said on her Instagram page.
“For me to go breastfeed Kai when I need it during the day, I would have to leave the Olympic village, the team bubble, and go to the hotel, risking the health of my team.”
“I had to make a really difficult decision … because the impositions of the Japanese government are not compatible with my athletic performance and being with my family at the same time,” Carbonell said.
“I hope other athletes can get along with these conditions and still take their children with them. I personally cannot accept these conditions. I will not be okay, I would have to use the breast pump for 20 days in the hope that Kai still wants to breastfeed, which is very important to me. “
Carbonell had been initially told that she couldn’t take Kai with her because the athletes’ families couldn’t travel with them, but after seeing other athletes describing their distress at having to choose between the event and their babies, she and her coach submitted a petition to the International Olympic Committee.
Two weeks ago they told him that he could bring Kai, but only subject to the rules set by the Japanese government.
“After receiving countless expressions of support and encouragement to go to Tokyo with Kai, I wanted to express my disappointment and disappointment that I will finally have to travel without him.”
Tokyo 2020 organizers said in a statement that they did not comment on individual cases, but were committed to doing everything possible to allow athletes with nursing children to compete.
“When necessary, nursing children and their caregivers can accompany athletes to Japan … proper measures regarding testing and quarantine will govern their entry into the country.”
An area in the Olympic Village was available for athletes to safely spend time and breastfeed their children, but they must stay in private accommodation, they added.
Carbonell said that only the end of the pandemic would make the reconciliation between motherhood and elite sport cease to be something “practically impossible to carry out.”
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