Team Canada will not be sending their athletes to the 2020 Olympics due to COVID-19 concerns.
“The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), backed by their Athletes’ Commissions, National Sports Organizations and the Government of Canada, have made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020,” Canadian Olympic Committee officials said in a press release.
“The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Games for one year and we offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring. While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community.”
Canadian Olympic Committee officials said this is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health.
“With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games,” Canadian Olympic Committee officials say.
“In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow.”
The COC and CPC reviewed the letter and news release sent Sunday by the IOC, Canadian Olympic Committee officials say.
“We are thankful to the IOC for its assurance that it will not be cancelling the Tokyo 2020 Games and appreciative that it understands the importance of accelerating its decision-making regarding a possible postponement,” Canadian Olympic Committee said in a media release.
“We also applaud the IOC for acknowledging that safeguarding the health and wellness of nations and containing the virus must be our paramount concern. We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport.”
The COC and CPC would like to thank our athletes, partners and the Canadian sport community for their patience and for lending us their voices during these unprecedented times, the Canadian Olympic Committee media release stated.
“We remain hopeful that the IOC and IPC will agree with the decision to postpone the Games as a part of our collective responsibility to protect our communities and work to contain the spread of the virus.”
The 2020 Summer Olympics are scheduled to begin on Friday, July 24 and end on Sunday, August 9 in Tokyo, Japan.