The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) & Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) on Monday has announced that it won’t be sending the athletes to this year’s Tokyo Summer Games in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus. They have appealed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the event for the next year, as they also became the first nation to go against the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee.
RELEASE: The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee have made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020: https://t.co/HyOBA5wwp4 pic.twitter.com/x9OWABVxMA
— Team Canada PR (@TeamCanadaPR) March 23, 2020
The Canadian Olympic Committee has said that conducting the games as planned would threaten the health of their athletes saying, “their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training for these Games”.
The IOC is scheduling meetings with the Japanese public authorities, global sports officials, broadcasters and sponsors with the motive of shifting the entire event in the different time-bracket which was supposed to start from July 24. Canceling the event is not an option for the authorities.
Canada has joined the hands of the other countries- including Norway, Brazil, and Slovenia — that have pressed the IOC on a possible postponement.
The IOC President Thomas Bach has penned down a letter to the athletes citing that the decision on the fate of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics might take some time while mentioning that the entended timeline of the event might not be favorable.
“I know that this unprecedented situation leaves many of your questions open,” he wrote. “I also know that this rational approach may not be in line with the emotions many of you have to go through.”
“While we recognise the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community.” He concluded.
Canada’s decision has come after the US Track and Field and USA Swimming authorities urged the IOC to postpone the event as a preventive measure of not letting the virus spread.
In the 2016 Rio Games, Canada had won 22 medals with 314 athletes participating in the events.