- Aliphine Tuliamuk, the winner of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, has petitioned to allow her four-month old daughter, Zoe, to come to Tokyo with her.
- Tuliamuk said that she is still breastfeeding Zoe, who will still be less than a year old on the date of the race.
- The women’s Olympic marathon takes place on August 7; currently, no foreign spectators are allowed to attend.
Aliphine Tuliamuk, the winner of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, has petitioned organizers of the Tokyo Olympics to allow her four-month old baby to come to the Games with her, according to The Washington Post.
Tuliamuk, who secured her Olympic berth on February 29, 2020, and her fiancé Tim Gannon were planning to start a family after the Summer Games. But when the Games were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, they moved their timeline up, and Tuliamuk gave birth to their daughter Zoe on January 13.
In March, the International Olympic Committee announced that no foreign spectators would be allowed at the Games in August. At the moment, this means that Zoe and Gannon wouldn’t be allowed to travel to the event.
“If I’m going to perform my best, she’s going to have to be there with me—and I hope she will be,” Tuliamuk said to The Washington Post.
Tuliamuk added that Zoe is still breastfeeding and has spent very little time away from her.
In a statement to the Washington Post, the IOC said, “National Olympic Committees [NOCs] are responsible for the composition of their delegations at Games time and the IOC is aware that a small number of them have been dealing with requests from athletes to bring their children on a case-by-case basis.”
The way things are set up now, Team USA is allowed to being around 600 persons to the Games, which includes athletes, trainers, coaches, and more. If Zoe and Gannon attended, two people would have to be removed from the current roster, according to The Washington Post. No family or visitors are allowed to attend as the local government stipulations state.
The USOPC said in a statement to the Washington Post that it is handling the case, but not decision has been made yet.
Tuliamuk likely isn’t the only athlete in this situation. Other mothers in sports—such as tennis star Serena Williams, soccer star Alex Morgan, and nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix—have raised similar concerns.
Tuliamuk will wait until a decision is rendered to decide what to do.
“I’m grateful to know everyone is working really hard to help make this work,” Tuliamuk said. “I’m just not ready to leave her behind.”
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