In a press release sent out Sunday night, March 22, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) announced they will not send any Canadian teams to the Olympic or Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020. The Athletes’ Commissions, National Sports Organizations and the Government of Canada have all chosen to endorse the COC’s decsion.
In its statement, the COC and CPC called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization to postpone the Tokyo Olympics for one year amidst the global pandemic.
“While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement,” says the COC and CPC, “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. 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.”
Canada’s announcement comes after the IOC stated on March 22 that they would make a decision on the future of the 2020 Games mid-April. The COC and CPC urged the IOC to accelerate its decision-making regarding a possible postponement, saying “it is part of our collective responsibility to protect our communities and work to contain the spread of the virus.”
“We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport.”