Canada Won’t Participate in a Summer 2020 Olympic Games

The Canadian Olympic Committee has become the first national Olympic committee to draw a strict line in the sand for this summer’s Olympic Games and say that they won’t participate in an Olympic Games that begins in July. The news came to key constituents on Sunday via an email and is expected to be announced to the public soon.

“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,” the statement sent to athletes late on Sunday reads.

“The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and 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.”

In an email sent to its constituents on Sunday, Swimming Canada says that they “fully support” the decision and will schedule a conference call on Wednesday at noon Eastern Time to address further detail.

While billion-dollar contracts written around the world for rights-holding media companies will likely have influence on the decision-making process, Canada has the benefit that the CBC, a state-owned corporation, is the rights holder in that country. This means that support from the national government of Canada extends to the rights holder.

Canada won 22 medals at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games: 4 gold, 3 silver, and 15 bronze. That included 6 medals in swimming by a team of 30 athletes: the country’s most since the boycott 1984 Olympic Games. Among the winners was Penny Oleksiak, who at 16-years old became Canada’s youngest Olympic champion ever. She also became the first Canadian to win 4 Olympic medals in a single edition of the summer games.

The move comes after the IOC on Sunday announced a four-week evaluation period before they would decide whether to postpone the Olympics or to hold them as scheduled in July.

Canada has 1,328 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 14 confirmed deaths.

More to Follow.

Full Canadian Olympic Committee Statement Below:

TORONTO (March 22, 2020) – 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.

The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), 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.

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.

The COC and CPC reviewed the letter and news release sent Sunday by the IOC. 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.

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. 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.

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Jalen Stimes
2 years ago

Bravo Canada!! Bravo!!

Texas Tap Water
2 years ago
Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
2 years ago

Covid-19 outbreak around the world is not Japan’s fault, but it is paying the price for the dereliction of governments of other countries. If even a diligent, devoted and cautious organizer like Japan has to suffer huge losses due to natural disasters and others’ wrongdoings, which city is still willing to hold the Olympics in the future?

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
2 years ago

European and American countries did poorly in controlling the pandemic and caused thousands of death, and now they are acting like they care for the health of people more than Japan. Instead of taking effective measures, they are just saying ‘there’s no way this could be solved within a year’, while several East Asian countries basically controlled it in 1-2 months. And now they behave like they are heroes and Japan is the bad guy.🤢

Gheko
2 years ago

Looks like Australia is out as well

Zaq Harrison
2 years ago

That’s like saying December 25th is now Christmas. It’s obvious that we are all dealing with a global situation that renders competitive athletics obsolete for the time being. Time to focus on the “We the people” not “me the people.”

torchbearer
2 years ago

Latest reports from Oz is that the Games are postponed for 1 year till July 2021….

Troyy
Reply to  torchbearer
2 years ago

I think this is just their way of saying they won’t be going this year and applying pressure for it to be postponed until next year.

Torchbearer
Reply to  Troyy
2 years ago

Umm..the Head of the Australian Olympic Committee is head of the Tokyo Olympics Coordination Committee- and athletes have apparently been told privately. SO it is a bit more than that…

Troyy
Reply to  Torchbearer
2 years ago

It’s based on the expectation that IOC will postpone not that they have already and if they don’t postpone Australia won’t be attending in 2020.

“While a postponement is not yet official, Carroll said Australia’s decision was in line with IOC principles of acting in the best interest of athletes and sport.”

https://7news.com.au/sport/olympics/athletes-huge-relief-after-australia-withdraws-from-2020-olympics-c-758481

Texas Tap Water
2 years ago

Taylor Ruck redshirted for nuthin

Swimswammer
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
2 years ago

Well technically she saved a year of her eligibility. Just depends on whether or not she wants to take it.

leisurely1:29
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
2 years ago

Actually 1) she actually gets to go to 4 NC’s rather than 3, and 2) she gave us that sick outdoor pool 40yd race video… so I’d say it was a good move

COOL DOWN
Reply to  leisurely1:29
2 years ago

What 40 yard race video?

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  leisurely1:29
2 years ago

This means she won’t be able to redshirt for 2021 Olympics

Lane 8
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
2 years ago

NCAAs was cancelled

Golden retriever
2 years ago

Great move Canada. Support it fully. Aside from the grave public health crisis going on globally there is a complete inequity in athletes that are still
Able to train and those who have zero access to a pool ( most swimmers are in this category). I really commend the person who stood up for the Canadian athletes. I am sure that every country with competitive swimmers will follow this lead. I also commend the former Olympian Cameron van der berg for speaking up about dealing with covid-19. Here you have a fit, healthy young person being struck down with the virus. See his tweet about it. He is incapacitated.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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