Ona Carbonell has raised her voice against what she considers a lack of respect on the part of sports leaders towards athletes who have been mothers. The captain of the Spanish artistic swimming team has made public “her disappointment and disappointment” because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese authorities have not allowed her to travel to Tokyo with her son Kai, who turns one year old in August .
Ona, 31, defends exclusive breastfeeding. And he did so until his son was six months old. Since then she has been combining the first foods with breastfeeding despite the difficulties involved in combining it with her dedication to sport .. She retired after the World Cup in South Korea in July 2019 and after giving birth she returned to competition in May and he qualified for the Games with the Spanish team in June. The Barcelona swimmer is the one who has achieved the most medals in the history of the World Cups, with 23, and only surpassed by two men, Michael Phelps, with 33, and Ryan Lochte, with 27. To that booty, Ona adds two Olympic medals, in duo and in teams in London 2012, and 12 in the Europeans, for a total of 37.
With the title “Olympic Games and family conciliation”, the Barcelonan swimmer explains on her Instagram account: “Despite the appearance of some news that suggested the possibility that athletes could travel to the Tokyo Olympic Games accompanied by our nursing children or from a young age, we have been informed by the organizing entities of some extremely drastic measures that make this option impossible for me. After receiving countless expressions of support and encouragement to go to Tokyo with Kai, I wanted to express my disappointment and disappointment that I will finally have to travel without him. Our only possibility is to wait for the end of this pandemic for normality to return, and with it the necessary measures to make reconciliation with family and elite sports during a competition easier for everyone. Thanks to everyone for your support”. The video accumulates more than 200,000 views and characters from the sports world such as Gemma Mengual, coach of the national artistic swimming team; o Saúl Craviotto, canoeist and Spanish flag bearer at the Beijing Games, reacted by writing comments in which they explicitly support the Catalan swimmer.
Ona explained to EL PAÍS in January the sacrifices she had to make to feed her son only breast milk. And he affirmed the disadvantage that it supposes for the athletes and at the same time mothers when training and competing. “Motherhood is still one of the handicaps that women have in sports. Getting pregnant is not an injury. I spoke with other athletes, with my friend Teresa Perales [también nadadora], for example; she was left without income, with nothing, she didn’t even have a lane to swim, nobody trusted her. I realized that there is no such thing as conciliation in sports ”.
And she assumed her motherhood as a new challenge. “I wanted to compete again after giving birth as a sporting challenge, but above all as a moral duty.” The artistic swimming team, with Ona Carbonell at the helm, qualified for the Games at the Barcelona Pre-Olympic held in June. The Olympic tournament will be played from August 2 to 7.
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