Team GB archer Naomi Folkard slams Tokyo 2020 organisers for lifting their baby ban too late as she insists she’ll now have to leave her five-month-old at home
Team GB archer Naomi Folkard says she will have to leave her five-month-old daughter at home to compete in Tokyo — despite Olympic organisers finally lifting their controversial baby ban.
Overseas visitors, including the children of athletes, were barred from attending the Games in March because of coronavirus concerns.
That led to a backlash from some Olympic mothers who said they were being forced to choose between competing and breastfeeding babies.
Team GB archer Naomi Folkard has told Sportsmail how Olympic rules have impacted her
Tokyo 2020 have now softened their stance, announcing: ‘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.’
But Folkard says the U-turn has come too late and does not go far enough for her to change her childcare plans for daughter Emily.
The 37-year-old revealed last month she was having to pump and freeze up to 80 bottles of breast milk before leaving for Tokyo so her baby could be fed while she was away.
Speaking to Sportsmail on Friday, Folkard said: ‘It is good they are acknowledging that breastfeeding mums need to be able to take their kids with them.
US football stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe were left baffled by the controversial policy
‘But I’ve made plans and I am going to stick with them because at this late notice it is a bit stressful to think about changing all of that.
‘Even though they have done something, it is very limited. We would only be able to meet our babies in a room on the edge of the Olympic Village, so it is not like you can spend much time with her.
‘I would have to express when I’m in my hotel room or the competition venue, and somehow I would have to keep the milk cold and make sure I got enough to her. It is just too much to think about and too stressful.’
US football star Alex Morgan, whose daughter Charlie was one in May, tweeted: ‘Still not sure what ‘when necessary’ even means. Is that determined by the mother or the IOC? We are Olympic mothers telling you, it is NECESSARY.’
Women’s footballer Alex Morgan hit out at Olympics officials after claims she has not yet been contacted about being able to bring her one-year-old daughter Charlie to Japan with her
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