A B.C. mother who is a member of the Canadian women’s basketball team headed to the Olympics in Tokyo next month is facing a very difficult dilemma.
Kimberley Gaucher, who had her baby girl Sophie in mid-March, is still breastfeeding. But she will not be able to bring Sophie with her to the Olympic Games due to the current restrictions.
“All I’ve ever wanted out of my basketball career is to rep Canada at the Olympics,” Gaucher said in a video posted to her Instagram account.
“Last year my team qualified for Tokyo but right now I’m being forced to decide between being a breastfeeding mom and an Olympic athlete.
“I can’t have them both. Tokyo has said no friends, no family, no exceptions.”
She said athletes and media are going to be flying in from around the world, Japanese fans will be in attendance and the arenas are going to be half-full.
“But I’m not going to have access to my daughter?” she asked.
Sophie is only three months old and still breastfeeds multiple times a day.
The basketball team is going to be gone for 28 days.
“People have told me 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 28-day supply,” Gaucher explained.
She said they have already looked into shipping milk and they have run into some complications.
The federal government has approved a travel exemption for Canada’s Olympic hopefuls that will allow them to train on home soil without undergoing a 14-day COVID-19 quarantine after returning to the country.
But so far, no families and no friends are allowed to travel to Tokyo with the athletes.
Gaucher said they have tried appeals and every official angle and while everyone has said they are on board with allowing Sophie to come, no one can actually do anything to make that happen.
“I need the help of the internet,” she said. “If anyone knows anybody, anything, let’s see if we can make a difference.”
“It’s 2021, let’s see if we can make working moms normal.”
The Olympic Games are set to begin on July 23.