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Canada: Athletes will not compete at Tokyo 2020 Games due to risks of COVID-19

WION logo WION 23-03-2020 (Wion Web Team)
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Canada has become the first country to decide to skip the Tokyo Olympics if it does not get deferred by at least a year. 

The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee issued a joint statement on Sunday evening. 

The statement read: "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.

"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."

According to the Tokyo Olympics' organisers, the games will begin on schedule despite the global pandemic extending its roots across the globe. 

The Olympics will begin on July 24 whereas the Paralympics will begin on August 25.

Postponing the 2020 Olympics "may become inevitable" if the new coronavirus outbreak makes it impossible to hold the Games safely, Japan's prime minister said Monday.

Shinzo Abe told parliament that Japan was still committed to a "complete" Games, but added: "if that becomes difficult, in light of considering athletes first, it may become inevitable that we make a decision to postpone."

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