Toronto, Canada – March 22, 2020 8:45 pm MDT
In a joint press release the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) announced they would not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020.
The news comes amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic which has spread to 171 countries, sickening 336,000, and killing 14,500 worldwide according to Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center (for real time updates see: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html).
The COC and CPC urgently called for the International Olympic/Paralympic Committees and the World Health Organization to postpone the Summer Games for one year. The COC stated that “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”. Canadian officials continued to call for the cancellation stating postponement of the games was “part of our collective responsibility to protect our communities and work to contain the spread of the virus”.
In a similar action this weekend, officials from both USA Swimming and USA Track and Field both called for the Olympics to be postponed to 2021. The International Olympic Committee has yet to decide on the fate of the games scheduled to begin July 24th.