The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee issued joint statements Sunday evening saying that they refuse to send their teams to Tokyo unless their respective Games are pushed back a year.
Canadian officials have made it clear that this is not just about athlete health but public health and that it was not safe for their team and support staff to continue training in the current circumstances.
The Canadian announcements were made after the International Olympic Committee said on Sunday that it will make a decision on whether or not to postpone the games within the next four weeks.
2x Olympian and skipper of the Canadian Field Hockey team Captain Scott Tupper who also sits on the FIH Athletes’ Committee said he knows it will be difficult for Canada’s athletes if the Tokyo Games go ahead without them, but says the current pandemic is more important than high-performance sport.
“The last week or so there’s been a little bit of a groundswell … calling for postponement, and then you see the IOC had held fairly firm and that kind of left everything sort of up in the air you didn’t really know what to believe,” said Scott Tupper, captain of Canada’s men’s field hockey team.
“To have kind of a timeline now is a little bit comforting.”
Another experienced player of the Canadian field hockey squad, Keegan Peraira too took to social media and echoed his sentiment by sharinga post on his Instagram story which read : “We are team Canada. Postpone today. Conquer tomorrow. #Tokyo2021″
More than a performance, a record, or a medal.
— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) March 23, 2020
Since the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, the Games have only been cancelled during the world wars including 1916, 1940 and 1944.
There have been three major boycotts, in 1976 in Montreal, 1980, and 1984.
There have been more than 33,000 cases of coronavirus around the world, with more than 14,000 deaths.
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start July 24 with the Paralympics slated to follow on Aug. 25.
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