June 30 (UPI) — Nursing mothers who are competing will be allowed to bring their children to the Tokyo Olympics, organizers said Wednesday, reversing a policy barring family members of athletes from attending the games due to COVID-19 safety protocols.
On Monday, an International Olympic Committee spokesperson told Yahoo Sports that the committee had “basically been divided to give up on allowing athletes’ family members and other companions” to attend the games.
“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,” the organizing committee told Yahoo News on Wednesday.
Organizers previously denied requests for exemptions from moms with young children.
U.S. marathoner Apliphine Puliamuk wrote on her Instagram how she “can’t imagine being away” from her 5-month-old daughter for 10 days.
“Even in the face of challenges like leaving my now 5-month-old breastfeeding daughter behind for 10 days to race at the Olympics, I can prevail and show her how to be strong,” Puliamak said on Instagram.
“Sometimes I think, what if something horrible happens and I never come home, like what if I never make it back from Tokyo? I am sure all moms understand this exact feeling.”
The Games are scheduled to begin July 23.