Team Canada have called on the International Olmypic Committee [IOC] to postpone this summer’s Olympic Games after confirming they will not send any athletes to Tokyo in 2020 due to the risks posed by the coronvairus pandemic.
Tokyo officials confirmed on Sunday that they will make a decision on whether the Games will go ahead in the next four weeks but as yet, they have not yet postponed the event which begins on July 24th.
That means a decision in late April but Team Canada are taking no risks and they have announced that they will not participate should the Games go ahead.
‘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,’ reads the COC’s statement.
‘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’.
IOC president Thomas Bach hinted at a delay in a statement on Sunday.
‘Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games,’ said Bach.
‘Therefore we have made it our leading principle to safeguard the health of everyone involved, and to contribute to containing the virus’.
Japan is the 16th worst hit country in the world since the coronavirus outbreak but it’s proximity to mainland China makes it a particularly dangerous host for this summer’s Games.
The country has recorded 43 deaths, while Canada is slightly behind at the time of writing with 20 deaths.
However, the US-Canadian border was closed this week as bordering state New York has been devastated by an increase in cases.
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