Synchronized Swimmer Ona Carbonell Calls Out Olympics for Not Allowing Her to Bring Breastfeeding Son

While preparing to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, synchronized swimmer Ona Carbonell called out the restrictive measures put in place, preventing her to travel with her breastfeeding son.

By Kisha Forde Jul 22, 2021 6:26 PMTags
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Ona Carbonell is expressing her "disappointment" with the Tokyo Organizing Committee ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.
In a recent video posted to Instagram, the two-time Olympic medalist—who can be seen in the footage breastfeeding her son, Kai—explained having to make the tough decision to not bring her young boy along, due to measures imposed under the COVID-19 guidelines.
"Despite the appearance of some news suggesting the possibility that we athletes could travel to the Tokyo Olympics Games accompanied by our infants or young children," she captioned the post, "We have been informed by the organizing entities of some extremely drastic measures that make this option impossible for me. After receiving countless expressions of support and encouragement to go to Tokyo with Kai, I wanted to express my disappointment and disillusionment that I will finally have to travel without him."
In the video, the professional swimmer explained that if she made the decision to bring him with her, under the rules imposed by the Japanese government, her son "would not be allowed to leave the hotel room" for the duration of their trip.

Get to Know the U.S. Swimmers Competing at the Tokyo Olympics

Ona went on to explain that not only would her son—who, according to the New York Times, is almost a year old—have stay in a hotel, but that to tend to him, she would have to leave the "team's bubble," which would potentially put her teammates at risk.

A spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee told Newsweek in a statement, "It is great to see so many mothers compete at the highest level, including at the Olympic Games. It is important to note that entry into Japan is the responsibility of the Japanese government, and the current pandemic situation requires a very significant reduction in the numbers of accredited participants who do not have essential and operational responsibilities."

Now, having to face the decision to travel to Tokyo without her child, Ona shared, "Our only possibility is to wait for the end of this pandemic so that normality returns, and with it, the necessary measures so that the reconciliation of motherhood and elite sport is no longer something extraordinary and impossible to carry out."

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