Athletics Canada impacted by, but proudly supportive of Canada’s decision not to participate in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games if held in 2020.

Athletics Canada is very proud of the values-based leadership shown in last night’s announcement by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) in announcing that Canada will not send a team to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo if they are held in 2020.

“In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we fully support this difficult decision. Canada has taken a leadership position by prioritizing the health and safety of our athletes, our coaches and our staff, as well as the greater Canadian population. Everyone associated with the team aspires to be part of these Games and there is naturally some disappointment, as well as relief. Our team will be ready to compete when the time is right. It is just more important for us all to engage in social distancing and all other precautions to minimize this virus’ impact on the health of Canadians now,” said Athletics Canada President Bill MacMackin.

As a result, Athletics Canada has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Track and Field Trials presented by Bell, which were scheduled to occur June 25 – 28 in Montreal. This postponement includes the Canadian U20 Championships which were part of the event. Full refunds will be issued shortly for all guests who had already purchased passes and tickets.

Athletics Canada has also cancelled the 2020 Panamerican and Canadian Combined Events Championships which were slated for May 22-23 in Ottawa. The 10,000-metre Championships, to be held May 31 in Burnaby, B.C., have also been postponed.

“I’m in full support of the joint COC and CPC decision. In the short term it is an incredibly difficult decision for so many people – our athletes, their coaches and medical and sport science support teams, our team managers and administrators. All of these people have dedicated themselves for years towards success in 2020. However, I’m sure that they will also agree that this is the right decision for their safety and the safety of their families, friends and communities. We will do everything in our power to help our athletes safely prepare for when national and international competition resume”, said Simon Nathan, High Performance Director of Athletics Canada.

“The actions Athletics Canada has taken today are entirely consistent with the direction led by the COC and CPC last night. These are clearly painful decisions for our athletes, and their coaches, who have been so focused on preparing for Tokyo 2020. They are the right decisions, however, as the COVID-19 pandemic is much bigger than sports. These difficult decisions also come with an impact on the operations of Athletics Canada. These postponements and cancellations will dramatically reduce our revenue, from sponsorship to ticket sales, to merchandising, to streaming audiences. These anticipated reductions in revenue will have impacts on Athletics Canada’s operations going forward”, said David Bedford, CEO of Athletics Canada.  “Like the general public is experiencing, Athletics Canada will not be immune from the devastating health and financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and staff is our first priority. Consult Athletics Canada’s website for all updates of Athletics Canada’s guidelines and advisories. This section will continue to be updated, as new developments arise.

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