Canada has officially pulled out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This comes after the IOC announced that it would make its final decision on the games in four weeks.
With the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) already informing its athletes to prepare for the Olympics in 2021, it seems Canada is only but the first of many countries that will be pulling out of the Olympics due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
For weeks athletes and international Olympic organisers from the various competing countries have been calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take into consideration the circumstances and dangers of holding the games with COVID-19 as prevalent as it is right now.
The IOC has been accused of not taking the athletes’ health and safety into consideration, expecting them to somehow continue preparing while training facilities, travel and even the qualification event that would allow them to compete are being shut down and cancelled as local governments worldwide go into lockdown to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
Its seems as though participating countries have decided not to wait on the outcome of the IOC’s decision in 4 weeks, choosing to take the health and safety of their own participating athletes into consideration by announcing to their athletes to prepare for Olympics next year.
Part of the statement released by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) read:
“The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee, 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,”
“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.”
“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.”
The USA looks as though it will be the next major participating country to follow Canada and pull out of Tokyo 2020 after they released a cautionary statement on March 14 urging the IOC to postpone the games to take the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic into consideration as they persisted on not postponing the games.