Tokyo 2020 - Synchronised swimmer Ona Carbonell criticises organisers for choosing between breastfeeding and Olympics
The 31-year-old Spaniard has expressed her “disappointment and disillusionment” at the coronavirus restrictions in Japan which means she has to leave her son breastfed Kai at home, because it is not practical to see him. Carbonell says the pandemic is making it difficult to coexist as an elite athlete and a mother.
Ona Carbonell says she's disillusioned that she cannot take her breastfed son to Tokyo 2020
Spanish synchronised swimmer Ona Carbonell says she is disillusioned and disappointed after she was forced to decide on whether to leave her breastfed son at home or compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The London 2012 silver and bronze medallist has criticised organisers and the coronavirus restrictions in Japan, which would have made it virtually impossible to continue feeding her child, Kai, who is yet to turn one.
In a powerful video posted on Instagram, in which Carbonell delivers her message while breastfeeding her baby, she said her husband and Kai would have had to stay isolated in their hotel room throughout the Games so that she could deliver expressed milk and feed him.
They would not be allowed out, to minimise the risk of infiltrating the Spanish Olympic team’s bubble - but Carbonell would already be doing that by leaving her room in the athlete village. The potential arrangement was put to her after she was initially told she could not travel with her family, but after petitioning the International Olympic Committee, who said they would have to abide by rules put in place by the Japanese government.
Russia’s near-perfect synchronised swimming routine at London 2012
Carbonell, a world champion in 2009, has made the decision to compete in Tokyo - but she says she should not have to choose between being a mum and a sportswoman.
"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.
"Our only possibility is to wait for the end of this pandemic so that normality returns... so that the reconciliation of motherhood and elite sport is no longer something extraordinary and practically impossible to carry out.”
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