2020 Olympics postponed after Canada pulls out

Published On March 23, 2020 | By Jeremy Yudin | News, Sports
The Olympic rings are pictured at dusk through a steel fence, at the waterfront area of the Odaiba Marine Park, after the postponing of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID 19), in Tokyo, Japan March 25, 2020. (REUTERS/Issei Kato)
Jeremy Yudin

The 2020 Summer Olympics have officially been postponed due to the risk of COVID-19, which has sickened more than 350,000 people and killed 16,000 around the world.

The news comes after Canada announced Sunday that they won’t be sending their athletes to the 2020 Tokyo games.

Almost 150 Canadians qualified for the 2020 Olympics. Only 57 per cent of Olympic qualification spots had been determined.

The games were set to take place between July 24 and Aug 9.

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound said the Games are to be postponed likely to 2021. The details would be worked out over the next four weeks.

“It will come in stages,” said Pound. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

“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. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow,” wrote the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee in a statement.

Kayleigh Bush, a Humber cross country athlete, supported the decision to cancels the Games.

“It’s more than just sports. You have to think about the health of everyone,” she said. “It’s really disappointing (for athletes) because that’s something that they’re striving for and to see that cancelled is hard to see.”

Bush, who made the 2019 Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Second-Ontario Team, was looking forward to seeing Canadian runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu, who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

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please read *ALL of this.⁠ ⁠ My first emotion was tears reading the COC’s announcement. We work so hard, for many, many, years to be at this level. I know the thrill of making an Olympic team, walking into opening ceremonies, and competing amongst the best in the world. Representing your country at the Olympic Games is an absolute privilege and the thought of not being able to do that makes me cry. My biggest fear is the IOC won’t agree and the Olympics will go on without Team Canada. ⁠ ⁠ BUT this is far bigger than our dreams right now. This is far bigger than the Olympics. I do stand by the COC and CPC’s decision, and hope that the IOC will also stand up for what is right. We must fight for humanity right now. I, personally, have family members that are in that ‘high risk’ category right now. I am not wiling to take those risks to lose them. Now more than ever, is a time to think bigger than yourself. Protect yourself, your families, and your communities.⁠ ⁠ I’ll be ready and will wait for the 2020 Olympics, whenever they may be. I still have a medal to fight for. ⁠ Sport will bring the world together again. When the time is right, the Olympics will be a celebration. ⁠ ⁠ #teamcanada #olympics #yabish #stayhome #stayfocused⁠ ⁠

A post shared by Melissa | Canadian Olympian (@melissacorinneb) on

The 2020 Tokyo Games have been one of many events to be postponed due to COVID-19. Also known as the Coronavirus, the disease has spread across the world after it was first identified in Wuhan, China in December.

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