Canada withraw from participating in Tokyo Olympics 2020 citing coronavirus threat
- Canada's decision to pull out of the event might only be the first of many nations withdrawing from the competition.
- The coronavirus pandemic has put many athletes' qualification hopes in jeopardy.
In a huge dent to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) plans of hosting the Tokyo Olympics 2020 as scheduled, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) have withdrawn their athletes from this year's competition.
This move comes in the wake of multiple Olympic associations from other countries calling for the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. Multiple qualification events across the globe have either been delayed or called off owing to the coronavirus, putting many athletes' qualification hopes in jeopardy.
In a recent statement as per olympic.ca, the committees addressed the need to reschedule the Olympics, and also offered to assist with the issues that could pop up if the Games are delayed.
The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and 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.
The statement also stressed on the importance of the health and safety of not just the athletes but their families as well.
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.
Appreciating the IOC's motive to consider the possible postponement of the Olympics, the COC and CPC remained optimistic of the delay in hosting the quadrennial event.
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.
Checkout: the full Olympics 2020 SchedulePublished 23 Mar 2020, 09:21 IST