Olympic swimmer Ona Carbonell slams Tokyo 2020 for not letting her take baby to Games while she is breastfeeding
OLYMPIC star Ona Carbonell has hit out at Tokyo 2020 organisers for not letting her take her baby to the Games while she is breastfeeding.
The Spanish synchronised swimming captain has been barred from taking one-year-old Kai along and blasted being 'made to choose' between family considerations and her lifelong dream.
Despite many Olympic athletes requesting to take their children to the Japanese capital, the lack of facilities and Covid regulations means it has not been possible.
Carbonell, 31, is the captain of the Spanish synchronised swimming team and gave birth to son Kai a year ago.
And after being barred from taking the youngster along, the London 2012 silver medallist hit out at Games chiefs in a video posted on social media.
She said: "When I gave birth to Kai and saw that I was getting fit and that I could make it to the Tokyo Games, the first thing I did was ask if I could take him because I was breastfeeding him, and they told me no.
"A few weeks ago, some athletes said on social media that it is a difficult situation having to choose between breastfeeding and family considerations and the Olympic Games."
Following a number of complaints from various athletes, Carbonell spoke with the Spanish Olympic Committee who 'helped a lot'.
She also reached out to the the Higher Sports Council and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for support.
But it was the latter organisation who cracked down and two weeks ago told her Kai would have to stay away.
Carbonell said the Japanese government set the conditions, which she desacribed as 'incompatible with being able to perform at the Olympic Games and with your family being the best it can be'.
'I WOULD PUT THE TEAM AT RISK'
The Barcelona born athlete added: "The conditions are that Pablo [her partner and father of her son] and Kai would have to be in a hotel.
"We don't know how far from the villa and they couldn't leave the hotel in the 20-odd days that I am in Tokyo.
"And to go breastfeed Kai I would have to leave the villa, go out of my bubble and go to the hotel.
"It would put the team at risk in the Olympics, which is a goal that we have been fighting for a long time.
"But at the same time I think it is inappropriate for them to not be able to leave the room for so many days."
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Carbonell eventually decided to leave Kai in Spain while she competes on the other side of the world.
She added the situation has 'left a really bad taste'.
And she said she is disappointed she cannot keep up her breastfeeding routine which is 'something that matters a lot to me'.
The Olympic star concluded: "I hope this serves for the future, for the next Games and for other upcoming competitions."
A post shared by Ona Carbonell (@ona_carbonell)
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