Canadian Olympic hopeful Kim Gaucher has to pick: compete in The Olympics in Tokyo or stop breastfeeding her daughter. In this COVID-19 world, once again, breastfeeding mothers are left with few options to feed their child and feed their souls.

Gaucher, who is looking at her third time playing in the Olympics for the Canadian Women's National Basketball team, has to decide whether she'll leave her daughter (born in March of 2021) to compete, or stay back to continue nursing her. Apparently, she can't have both because of Tokyo's Olympic rules. She's taken to the Interwebs for the court of public opinions to help sway changes in travel protocols.

Gaucher posted a series of Instagram talking about the hypocrisy of media, trainers and even fans being in attendance at the games but because of the IOC rules, no Olympian is allowed to have friends or family with them, and that means nursing babies who need their mamas. Gaucher is hoping her plea will fall on the ears of someone who may be able to work on getting a waiver that will allow her access to her daughter while she still nurses her.

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Gaucher said the plea was a 'hail mary' to get some help. In one of the series of videos, she says,
“All I’ve ever wanted out of my basketball career has been to rep Canada at the Olympics,” Gaucher said. “Last year, my teammates and I qualified for Tokyo, but right now, I am being forced to decide between being a breastfeeding mom or an Olympic athlete. I can’t have them both.”
Because of the pandemic, no foreign fans/family are allowed, and that also includes people from 159 countries--including the United States--as allowed in Japan in general. This leaves Gaucher in a quandary as to whether she gives up her dream of representing her country in the Olympics or tends to her daughter how she chooses to nourish her.

That she doesn't have access to her daughter while so many others coming in for the Olympics (media, particularly, as well as fans there in Tokyo) are allowed screams double standard. Goucher said all the 'right people' were 'onboard' but no one has gotten her the waiver she needs. She's hoping someone in the world of the Internet may be able to help.

While she looked into pumping madly to supply Sophia the milk she'll need for the nearly month she'll be gone, it's simply not feasible to do while she's also getting back into shape and training at an elite level.

Gaucher is not alone. A U.S. marathon runner, Aliphine Tuliamuk, is still nursing her daughter Zoe, who was born in January of this year. She's petitioning for a waiver. Alex Mogran is with the United States Women's National Team (soccer) and had a baby girl who turned a month-old last month. She had previously planned to go to the 2020 Olympics last year. Tennis star Serena Williams said that if her 3-year-old couldn't join her in Tokyo, she may not even decide to go.

And there are more moms who face this choice every day.

It's not fair to penalize women for choosing motherhood and career--especially if they're sports careers. It's discrimination, and we stand with Gaucher in her and her fellow athletes' hopes that someone can get the waivers to them.

Image: Kim Gaucher/Instagram