2020 Olympics: Canada to withdraw athletes amid coronavirus pandemic

This summer’s Olympics in Japan has come under further pressure to be cancelled after Canada became the first major country to withdraw from the event.

The International Olympic Committee have said they expect to make a decision on whether the games will go ahead in four weeks’ time.

Australia’s athletes have been told to prepare for a 2021 Olympics, rather than 2020, making it clear that they don’t think the games will go ahead this year.

The games are currently scheduled to commence on 24 July in Tokyo and run through all the way to August 9.

Team Canada released a statement underlying their rational behind withdrawing athletes from Tokyo 2020.

“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,”

Team Canada

Canada finished 20th in the medal table in Rio in 2016, securing 22 medals throughout the games with 314 athletes representing the country.

Japan have been defiant for a number of weeks now that the games in Tokyo will still go ahead despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since Canada’s announcement, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has conceded that the games may have to be postponed.

“If it is difficult to hold [the games] in a complete way, a decision of postponement would be unavoidable as we think the athletes’ safety is paramount,”

Shinzo Abe

Abe remains sure that the games won’t be cancelled and instead postponed, the games haven’t ever been moved or postponed away from the second world war, which were also due to be held in Tokyo.

Stay across all the latest news throughout the day with our live blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *