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Canada Boycotts Tokyo Olympics


Update (2130ET): After a day of further discussions and comments, it would appear that Canada is not convinced their athletes will be safe unless the Olympics is delayed and is therefore not sending any athletes to the games.

The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee will refuse to send athletes to the Tokyo Olympics if the event is not postponed. The 2020 Games are currently set to begin on July 24.

Team Canada will not send athletes to Games in summer 2020 due to COVID-19 risks

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), backed by their Athletes Commissions, National Sports Organizations and the Government of Canada: have made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralvmpic Games in the summer of 2020.

The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralvmpic 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 recognize 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 CON-ID-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 COC and CPC reviewed the letter and news release sent Sunday by the IOC.. 1,Ve are thankful to the IOC for its assurance that it will not be cancelling the Tokyo 2020 Games and appreciative that it understands the importance of accelerating its decision-making regarding a possible postponement.

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 COC and CPC would like to thank our athletes: partners and the Canadian sport community for their patience and for lending us their voices during these unprecedented times_ 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.

This move by the Canadians is likely to force the hand of the rest of the G-& and soon enough, Japan will be forced to postpone or cancel.

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The International Olympic Committee has set a deadline of four weeks to make a decision on whether they will postpone the 2020 games in Tokyo due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, according to the BBC.

International Olympic Cmte: “.. the IOC will step up its scenario-planning for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”#Olympics2020 #COVID19

Press release: pic.twitter.com/G6jbxn4s06

— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) March 22, 2020

The move comes after most prominent teams across from various countries have demanded a delay – including the US track and field team, the US swim team – which asked for a one-year delay, and the country of Brazil.


— USATF (@usatf) March 21, 2020

The U.S. swimming and track and field teams are two of America’s most successful Olympic teams, and their popularity is one of the main reasons Comcast Corp.’s NBC agreed to pay $2.6 billion every four years to broadcast the games, significantly more than any other global media company. At the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, they accounted for more than half of the country’s 121 medals, and 29 of the 46 golds. –National Post

According to Ransquawk, organizers are considering a delay of up to two years, though they are hopeful it will only be a 45-day postponement. Japan has already spent $12 billion (USD) on preparations, while reports have suggested up to $3 billion of sponsorship revenue may be at rosk.

Other plans being considered involve holding the games without spectators, and/or scaling back the games. 

Some organisers are pushing for a decision to be made quickly, warning that cancellation fees could rise the longer the decision is pushed-back. -Ransquawk

IOC president Thomas Bach said on Friday that “different scenarios” are being considered for the first time – including a ‘scaled-down’ event.

UK Athletics chairman Nic Coward recently suggested that the Olympics should be postponed, while Brazil, Norway and Slovenia’s Olympic committees have also urged the IOC to take action and put the Games back to next year. –BBC

“I do think they will be postponed, it’s inevitable. Every day is the Olympic Games,” said four-time Olympics gold medalist on Canada’s ice hockey team, and a member of the IOC. “Every day athletes cannot train, workout, it’s a day they cannot prepare.”

We suspect they won’t need four weeks to make their decision.