While the International Olympics Committee is still on the fence about potentially postponing the 2020 Summer Olympics, Canada just stuck the landing firmly on one side. According to the CBC, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee, with the support of the country’s Athletes’ Commissions, National Sports Organizations, and the Canadian government, have made the decision not to send their athletes to compete this year unless the games, which are scheduled to begin on July 24 in Tokyo, are postponed to help stave off the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.
According to a statement released by Team Canada, they’re hoping the 2020 Summer Games can be held in the summer of 2021 instead. “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,” they write. “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.”
“This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health,” the statement continues. “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. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow.”
Team Canada concludes, “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.” You can read their full statement here.