Canada won’t send athletes to 2020 Olympics, wants deferral

TORONTO – Canadian officials announced Sunday they won’t be sending athletes to the Olympic Games in Tokyo unless the event is postponed by a year.

A statement released by the Canadian Olympic Committee said the coronavirus pandemic is the motivation behind the request to postpone the Tokyo Games.

“This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health,” reads the statement. “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.”

Earlier that day, the International Olympic Committee announced that it was considering to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games at some point.

RELATED: IOC considering postponing 2020 Olympic Games amid COVID-19 outbreak

The statement goes on to praise the IOC’s decision to consider postponing the games.

“We also applaud the IOC for acknowledging that safeguarding the health and wellness of nations and 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.”

The IOC said it will make a decision regarding postponing in the next four weeks.

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