Coronavirus: Canada refuses to send athletes to Tokyo Olympics unless Games postponed

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Canada won’t have a team at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics unless the Games are postponed — a bold move that would at least give Canadian athletes some sense of direction in the coming months.

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, and are advocating for a year.

“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,” the COC said in its statement.

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“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.”

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The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start July 24 with the Paralympics slated to follow on Aug. 25.

“It’s heartbreaking news,” Olympic champion wrestler Erica Wiebe said.

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“It’s been a whirlwind week. I qualified for Tokyo last Saturday, officially punching my ticket and now a week later,

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