Canadian women’s basketball player Kim Gaucher is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics on two fronts: as a member of the team representing her country, and fighting a currently losing battle to bring her three- month-old daughter, whom Gaucher is breastfeeding, with her to the Games in the face of an Olympics organizers’ edict barring athletes being accompanied by family members due to COVID.
Gaucher expressed her frustrations on her Instagram page last week. Quoting her post:
Hey, I’m Kim. This is Sophie. All I’ve ever wanted out of my basketball career has been to rep 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. I can’t have them both.
Tokyo has said no friends, no family, no exceptions. (It appears) the 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?
The basketball team’s going to be gone for twenty-eight days. 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) twenty-eight day supply.
We’ve looked into shipping milk. We’ve run into some complications. We’re still exploring that option. But it’s not going to be easy. All the traditional routes … we’ve tried appeals. Everyone says they’re on board, but nobody can do anything.
I need the help of the Internet. If anybody knows anybody, anything … let’s see if we can make a difference. And it’s 2021. Let’s make working moms normal.
Gaucher, 37, is preparing for what will undoubtedly be her final Olympics appearance, having previously considered retirement following the 2016 Rio games. As she mentioned on Instagram, she has gone through all the regular routes in appealing the prohibiting of bringing her daughter, who at three months old is in little danger of either contracting or
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