Canadian Athletes Forbidden to Compete in 2020 Olympic Games

The 2020 Olympics are set to commence this July, and although not officially canceled, Canadian athletes are not permitted to participate due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) announced they will not allow athletes to travel and compete at the Tokyo Games if the event was not postponed to a later date. 

After receiving the go ahead from the Athlete’ Commissions, National Sport Organizations and the Government of Canada, the COC and CPC said they had “made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020.”

The committees are asking the International Olympic Committee to delay the Games until next year, taking into account all of the safety risks that holding the event may impose on athletes and the general public. 

“This is not solely about athlete health — it is about public health,”  the committees said in a statement Sunday night.

“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”. 

Various countries such as Australia and Japan have also said they believe a postponement of the Games is necessary and unavoidable. 

“If it is difficult to hold [the Games] in a complete way, a decision of postponement would be unavoidable,” said Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The COC put out a statement on Sunday acknowledging the severity of our current public health situation.

 “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.”