Spain synchronized swim team member Ona Carbonell slammed the Olympics’ “extremely drastic measures,” which prohibited her from bringing her 11-month-old son to Tokyo.
Carbonell voiced her concerns on Instagram on Tuesday. She said she had to leave her son “despite the appearance of some news suggesting the possibility that we athletes could travel to the Tokyo Olympic Games accompanied by our infants or young children.”
“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,” she said.
“Our only possibility is to wait for the end of this pandemic so that normality returns” and “that the reconciliation of motherhood and elite sport is no longer something extraordinary and practically impossible to carry out,” she added.
The restrictions put in place in Tokyo have to do with combating the spread of the coronavirus but were cause for concern in the weeks leading up to the Games for some female athletes. Particularly, American soccer star Alex Morgan and Canadian basketball player Kim Gaucher.
Carbonell told Spanish media nursing mothers would have to leave the Olympic Village to breastfeed their children, possibly being exposed to coronavirus and passing it along to their teammates.
Organizers told Reuters in a statement that athletes who are still nursing children can bring them to Tokyo “when necessary.”
“Given that the Tokyo 2020 Games will take place during a pandemic, overall we must unfortunately decline to permit athletes’ family members or other companions to accompany them to the Games,” the statement to Reuters read.
“However, 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 Associated Press contributed to this report.