Olympic organizers in Tokyo have allowed moms to bring their infants and caregivers in light of the city-wide pandemic-related state of emergency.
Unfortunately, USA Today reported that two athletes left their children at home because the protocols the organizers put in place did not enable these competitors to care for their kids properly.
“For me to go and breastfeed [son] Kai whenever he needs it during the day, I would have to leave … the team’s bubble and go to their hotel, risking my team’s health during the Olympic Games,” said Spanish artistic swimmer Ona Carbonell via Instagram.
That being said, read more about many American mothers making history at these Summer Games.
It’s challenging enough raising children, so how remarkable are the women on Team USA juggling that with competing at an elite level in their respective sports?
American track athlete Allyson Felix is competing at her fifth Olympics in Tokyo, but it’s her first time doing so as a mom.
Felix gave birth to her daughter, Camryn, three years ago before resuming her career in 2019 with a first-place finish in the mixed-gender 4x400m relay at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Being a part of Team USA this time around hasn’t been easy for Felix, who almost lost her own life towards the end of her pregnancy.
Preeclampsia is a complication that may arise during pregnancy, associated with high blood pressure and harm to other organs in the body like the liver and kidneys, per the Mayo Clinic.
So far, so good in Tokyo. Felix qualified for the final of 400m and will compete for a gold medal.
By the way, how adorable is this reaction of the daughter Camryn watching her mom race?
“My why is clear and unchanging,” Felix said. “Swipe to see her watching mommy.”
“[Camryn is] really into cheering now,” Felix said per MSN. “So whenever she sees me running, she’s like, ‘Run, mama, run,’ and she’s really into just being a little cheerleader. It’s enjoyable to see how the process develops and how she becomes more active.”
These Summer Games will be the last for Felix, who will retire afterward from pursuing future appearances at the Olympics.
“[My daughter has] given me a whole new drive,” Felix said. “I’ve always been competitive, and I’ve always wanted to win, but now, the reasoning behind it is just different. I want her to see what it looks like to be a hard worker, to overcome adversity. I can’t wait to tell her about these last, you know, couple years and how hard they have been, but how she has really motivated me to continue.”
“One day, when I tell [Camryn] this story, I know she will be proud of her Mama,” Felix wrote.
Felix is competing in Tokyo alongside fellow American runner Quanara Hayes, also a mom.
Felix and Hayes aren’t the only moms competing at these Olympics on behalf of Team USA.
Don’t forget about basketball player Diana Taurasi.
Taurasi is married to Australian Olympian Penny Taylor, both of them moms to three-year-old son Leo.
Taylor retired from pro basketball years ago after a 19-year career with two silver medals from the Summer Games in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008).
Taurasi seeks her fifth Olympic gold medal, which would make her the most decorated basketball player in the summer Games history with teammate Sue Bird.
Competing at these games in Tokyo is the first appearance at the Olympics for Diggins-Smith, who played the 2018 WNBA season pregnant with her son Rowan.
The U.S. Olympic team seeks its seventh-straight gold medal in Women’s Basketball, advancing to the semi-finals with a matchup against Serbia.
Arguably the face of the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team asides from Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan is returning home from Tokyo with a bronze medal from her third trip to the Olympics.
It’s the second medal in the last three Olympics for the USWNT (one gold, one bronze).
Morgan gave birth a year ago to her daughter Charlie.
Her rocking a No. 13 jersey (Alex’s number) with “Mom” on the back is amazing:
Alex posted a heartfelt message to Charlie in early July, before arriving in Tokyo:
“I’m going to miss my baby girl so much this month,” Morgan wrote. “Charlie girl, I’ll make it worth it!”
At age 32, Morgan looked like a key cog to the USWNT’s success on the pitch. And if this may be the last time fans see her at the Olympics, it will be as a two-time medalist and a two-time World Cup champion.