Gateway Gazette

Team Canada the First to Pull Out of the 2020 Olympics

By Agnes Wong

Postpone today. Conquer tomorrow.

Team Canada on Sunday evening asked the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the world is facing today.

With that decision, Team Canada became the first National Olympic Committee to say that its athletes will not compete at Tokyo 2020 if the Games go ahead as scheduled this summer from July 24 to August 9.

READTeam Canada’s full statement on postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The statement, made in collaboration with the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and supported by their Athletes’ Commissions, their National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and the Government of Canada, called on the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Games.

Many Canadian athletes – from Olympic veterans to those set to make their Olympic debuts – have voiced their thoughts, backing up the decision to prioritize public health and safety.

Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito diving during the women’s 10m platform final at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Benfeito won bronze. (Credit: COC/Jason Ransom)

In an interview with RDI Matin on Monday morning, three-time Olympic medallist Meaghan Benfeito said, “Competitions, we can move them, we can push them back, but health, no.”

Other Team Canada Olympians were quick to give their thoughts on social media.

Both summer and winter athletes along with the entire Canadian Olympian community are rallying behind the leadership of Team Canada.

Alongside Team Canada, the National Olympic Committees of Norway, Brazil, Poland and Slovenia were also lobbying the biggest international bodies for a postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games while the Australian Olympic Committee encouraged its athletes to “prepare for the Games in the summer of 2021”.

It’s now up to all of us to do our part. We are all Team Canada.

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1 Comment

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  • Malcolm , March 26, 2020 @ 10:43 am

    A grandson of mine, an officer in the Canadian Army who had previously represented his country, was in Wuhan in November as part of the Canadian Armed Forces athletes competing at the World Military Games. We were more than a little concerned as news broke of the outbreak and more particularly of the reported early cover up.
    Athletes are proud to represent their organisation at any level of competition and particularly national. As a former National Coach, I am proud of the response by our athletes to the call for postponement and so glad that the organisers have taken the step of postponing the games.

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