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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Tupperware

Santo just booked a flight to Italy

pablo

Is he Italian, American or Canadian anyways?

Willswim

Yes

BobbyJones

all three…maybe japanese too…

Oh Canada

What a power move out of Canada

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT

This seems eerily familiar to “The ACC will not send athletes to the NCAA Swimming Championships.”
Glad someone finally did it, the dominoes will follow.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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