After a lot of thinking, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) have made the decision not to send their athletes to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020. The Tokyo Olympics will almost certainly not happen this summer due to a coronavirus, as it seems impossible to gather so many people from all around the world in just four months as the virus still rages on in almost every corner of the globe.
Tennis players have only a couple of chances to compete at the Olympics (if you are not Leander Paes, of course) but the health has to come first, with both Vasek Pospisil and Felix Auger-Aliassime backing the decision to skip Tokyo this year, leaving the doors open to compete in Japan next year.
The 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime was hoping to make a debut at the Olympic Games but that will have to wait now, aiming to represent Canada at the Davis Cup Finals in November and try to win the title with his teammates. Felix has won 13 matches so far in 2020, reaching the final in Rotterdam and Marseille and still waiting for that first ATP title that should come in the rest of the season if we see tennis action again anytime soon.
"The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), backed by their Athletes' Commissions, National Sports Organizations and the Government of Canada, have made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020.
The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Games for one year and we offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring.
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. 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. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow.
The COC and CPC reviewed the letter and news release sent Sunday by the IOC. We are thankful to the IOC for its assurance that it will not be canceling the Tokyo 2020 Games and appreciative that it understands the importance of accelerating its decision-making regarding a possible postponement.
We also applaud the IOC for acknowledging that safeguarding the health and wellness of nations and containing the virus must be our paramount concern. We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport.
The COC and CPC would like to thank our athletes, partners and the Canadian sport community for their patience and for lending us their voices during these unprecedented times. We remain hopeful that the IOC and IPC will agree with the decision to postpone the Games as a part of our collective responsibility to protect our communities and work to contain the spread of the virus."