Swimming Canada Postpones 2021 Olympic Trials Again, This Time to June

Swimming Canada has moved its Tokyo 2020 Olympic Trials meet to June 19-23, athletes were told in a conference call on Wednesday. The move comes after Ontario introduced another stay-at-home order and declared a third state of emergency earlier this month amid a rise in new coronavirus cases.

The most recent Trials dates were from May 24-28, with a very limited selection of athletes invited. A high-performance test event scheduled for early May has been canceled.

For now, officials are hoping to continue to hold the meet at the country’s newest Olympic caliber pool, the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center, and have booked those dates, they are exploring other options in case local regulations won’t allow hosting of the meet. While the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta have been ruled out as hosts, one of two big pools in Montreal and the Winnipeg Pan Am Sports Centre are potential alternatives capable of hosting the meet.

Swimming Canada says that if they can’t find a suitable host, their next plan would be to look at options outside of the country. While the Canadian government doesn’t want the team chosen outside of the country, Swimming Canada says that they are fighting for the chance to pick a team in the pool, rather than on paper.

Athletes were told that choosing a team ‘on paper,’ based on the best guess from prior results, was still a last resort.

Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories.

The Paralympic Swimming Trials have now been separated from the Olympic Trials. The meet is still being planned as a timed-finals event, a plan that drew criticism when announced earlier this year. The Canadian men still don’t have Olympic relays qualified, so will need an Olympic-qualifying event, like those Trials, to earn their “wildcard” slots as one of the top 4 teams that didn’t place in the top 12 at the 2019 World Championships.

The six swimmers pre-selected to the team when Trials were originally moved from April to May continue to be pre-selected:

In 2020, Swimming Canada was among the first nations to alter its Olympic selection in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. By March 13, Canada had announced that its Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials would be either postponed or canceled due to the pandemic. About a week or so later, the Canadian Olympic Committee became the first national Olympic committee to declare it would not participate in the Tokyo Olympics, at that point still scheduled to begin in July of 2020.

The Olympics themselves were later postponed one year. Swimming Canada rescheduled and reformatted its Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials, paring down the meet to feature just 20 invited swimmers per event. The meet was originally scheduled for April 7-11 of 2021, but earlier this year, Swimming Canada again postponed the meet, this time to May 24-28. A second Olympic-qualifying invitational will take place on June 21-23. Those two Olympic selection events were once again thrown into doubt this month, though, by a COVID-19 lockdown in Ontario.

Canada is currently ramping up its vaccine program. Canada does not have any domestic vaccine production, and so is relying on vaccines from its allies, including the U.S., to emerge from the pandemic. Last month, the U.S. pledged to share 4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine with Mexico and Canada. That vaccine has been approved in those countries, but not in the United States.

American president Joe Biden also pledged this week to release another 60 million doses, but did not say where to.

Most of Canada’s vaccine supply is coming from Europe.

At its current pace, according to Bloomberg data, the country is still 5 months away from what most experts believe would be a “herd immunity” level, though the 464,000 reported doses on Monday is the most the country has done in one day.

So far, the country has given enough vaccines to cover around 16.7% of the population of 37.59 million.

Nationally, the number of new cases have begun to recede a little from their peaks earlier in the month. Cases are currently about 35% higher than their neighbors to the south in the United States, controlling for population.

The decision to postpone trials again comes a week after Swimming Canada issued a statement saying that they felt their “robust safety” protocols were sufficient but that they “understand the concerns and…are seeking more information to make the best decision possible.”

A breakout 2016 Olympic Games for Canada, led by its women’s team, resulted in 6 total medals: 1 gold, 1 silver, and 4 bronze.

The Olympic qualifying period closes on June 27, 2021. Canada would join countries like the U.S. and Australia as having Olympic Trials events butting up against the end of that qualifying period.

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Coach D. Ling
7 months ago

Correction… Canada is not relying on the US “especially” for vaccines… we would be much more f’d if we did as the US administrations (both current and former) don’t believe in sharing with their allies yet in any meaningful way. Instead we “especially” rely on Europe.

Pvdh
Reply to  Coach D. Ling
7 months ago

Why would the US share when it’s got it’s own massive population to vaccinate. How’s that working out for India?

Walter
Reply to  Pvdh
7 months ago

Because it has excess doses that people don’t want. Some say perhaps 300 million excess doses. Not sharing means the pandemic continues in other places and returns to the US to infect people.

Ghost
Reply to  Pvdh
7 months ago

US has millions of astra vaccine that is just sitting because hasn’t gotten approval yet. But we are covered by Pfizer and Moderna so it is excess!

DrSwimPhil
Reply to  Ghost
7 months ago

Sound logic

“Hey Canada, we don’t think this vaccine is good for us, but here, you have it!”

Bo Swims
Reply to  Pvdh
6 months ago

Because you are sitting on stock of the Astra Zenica vaccine that is approved for use in Canada but not in the US.

Respect
Reply to  Coach D. Ling
7 months ago

C’on ! Canadians already got some share. You guys never stop spreading derogatory remarks toward the other side of border. Try to be polite when asking for something. Not sure why I encountered quite many arrogant Canadians whenever I went across Canada, even the waitress in a small breakfast restaurant.

iLikePsych
Reply to  Respect
6 months ago

“If you run into an ******* in the morning, you ran into an *******. If you run into ******* all day, you’re the *******.”

MarkB
Reply to  iLikePsych
6 months ago

Above quote is from Justified, the TV show.

Huh
Reply to  iLikePsych
6 months ago

Nah, Canadians can be giant assholes.

Respect
Reply to  iLikePsych
6 months ago

Let me be more specific. Canadians are thought to be kind, progressive, respectful and kind. This is a huge myth.
Many Canadians are condescending and very arrogant.
Mind your own business on your side of the border.

MIKE IN DALLAS
Reply to  Coach D. Ling
7 months ago

vile remarks — just vile

Sorry
Reply to  Coach D. Ling
7 months ago

Well sorry to inform you that is how Capitalism works. Back to Back World War champs help as well.

Xman
Reply to  Sorry
7 months ago

Back to back? Russia won the 2nd one 😉

ReneDescartes
Reply to  Coach D. Ling
7 months ago

But, but, but Coach Ling, I thought Canada had the superior health care system compared to the USA?

Stephen
Reply to  ReneDescartes
7 months ago

Any country has a superior health care system to the US
Land of the free home of the slaves

Captain Ahab
7 months ago

The Canadian Olympics Committee needs to declare that they will not participate in the 2021 Olympics Tokyo Olympics because it’s too dangerous for their athletes.

Trudeau sucks
Reply to  Captain Ahab
7 months ago

Agreed. Make that decision right now (in order out) and make it final instead of giving Canadian athletes false hope just to have their dreams smashed a month down the line because of incompetent leadership

^SmoothBrain
Reply to  Captain Ahab
7 months ago

Or alternatively you can vaccinate this miniscule number of people, send them to Olympics and not ruin their dreams and life’s work

Golgotha
7 months ago

Called it

Mustard
7 months ago

Heartbroken for the Canadian athletes who’ve invested so much to compete in May. Hoping for some good news soon

Exswimmerish
Reply to  Mustard
7 months ago

Curious how this will change training plans. Pushing the trial closer to Olympics means changing tapers, etc

Golgotha
7 months ago

This year, The US has had several high level swim meets with at least 75% participation and little to no COVID issues. This year we,in Canada, cannot figure out how to have one meet with minimum participation. Going on two years without swim meets in Canada… let the attrition begin.

Canada sucks
Reply to  Golgotha
7 months ago

It’s absolutely ridiculous

FINA Adjustments Needed
7 months ago

FINA needs to loosen the A cut for these countries trying to qualify athletes that have been shut down. So many athletes still need to make the cuts or they are not going. Many athletes probably have improved but won’t get a fina meet or chance to swim a fina A time.

Hswimmer
7 months ago

Why? Lll

frustration
7 months ago

It is up to the athletes now to start demanding some answers from Swim Canada. There are 9 million rapid tests sitting in storage in Ontario that have a very short shelf life. Has Swim Canada been pushing for use of these to host Trials? For them to move ahead with a meet with only the top 8 swimmers in each event is absolutely ridiculous. Our athletes at the High-Performance Centre should be using their voices. They have a responsibility to the athletes that look up to them to advocate for all swimmers across the country. The World Curling Championships are currently taking place in Calgary (with positive covid cases) and Canada is sending a team to the u18 world… Read more »

Exswimmerish
Reply to  frustration
7 months ago

Tyr pro meets this weekend. PCR 72h before, daily tests during. Most meets driving distance away

The right balance tween safety and getting on with life

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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