Nursing moms will be allowed to bring their children to Tokyo Olympics

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(NEW YORK) — USWNT player Alex Morgan says she’s “still not sure” about whether the new Tokyo Olympics policy for nursing mothers will allow her to bring her 1-year-old daughter to the games.

The soccer superstar took to Twitter to verbalize her confusion on Thursday.

“Still not sure what ‘when necessary’ even means. Is that determined by the mother or the IOC?” she tweeted. “We are Olympic mothers telling you, it is NECESSARY. I have not been contacted about being able to bring my daughter with me to Japan and we leave in 7 days.”

Several athletes have complained about the initial restrictions, which banned them from bringing their families along. On Wednesday, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee issued a statement that the restrictions have now been eased to allow nursing mothers to bring their children with them to the Games.

“It is inspiring that so many athletes with young children are able to continue competing at the highest levels, including at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we are committed to doing everything possible to enable them to perform at the Tokyo 2020 Games,” the committee said in a statement obtained by “ABC News.” “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 committee stated that the residential zone of the Olympic and Paralympic Village is restricted to athletes and team officials only so nursing children “must stay in private accommodation approved by Tokyo 2020, e.g. hotels.”

“It is great to see so many mothers compete at the highest level, including at the Olympic Games,” the International Olympic Committee said in a statement. “We are very pleased to hear that the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has found a special solution regarding the entry to Japan for mothers who are breastfeeding and their young children.”

The wording of the policy, however, is now drawing criticism, with Morgan’s teammate Megan Rapinoe also showing support for Olympic parents.

Earlier this year, officials announced their decision to bar all foreign spectators from attending the games, which includes any of the visiting athletes’ families. Officials also recently stated that all venues would be at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 10,000 people, to adhere to the Japanese government’s limits on public events.

Prior to the rule update, athletes were saying they felt forced to decide between being an Olympic athlete and a mom.

Marathon runner Aliphine Tuliamuk posted a photo Monday on Instagram saying she “feels torn” and has “cried a lot” thinking about not being able to bring her 5-month-old daughter, Zoe, with her to the Olympics.

Tuliamuk qualified by placing first at the Women’s 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials back in February 2020 and has been training since giving birth to be ready for the event.

“I have been working my butt off since having my daughter, I want to produce the best result possible, my long runs & workouts are coming together nicely, body is holding together well,” she wrote.

In her post, Tuliamuk stressed the difficulty in being apart from her daughter for even half a day, let alone the 10 days she’ll be away at the Olympics.

“I know that I will be leaving her for only 10 days, and she will be just fine, and that so many other moms have done the same, but I can’t even imagine being away from her for half a day,” she said.

“Motherhood is a beautiful thing, I love being Zoe’s mom more than life itself, I have never felt such immense, immeasurable love for someone before,” Tuliamuk continued. “Motherhood is also scary, I go down this rabbit hole sometimes, 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. Motherhood has made me so vulnerable, I feel like my heart is hanging outside of my body.”

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics will begin July 23 and end Aug. 8.

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