Ground crews of Japanese airlines wave to the special "Tokyo 2020 Go" aircraft that will transport the Olympic Flame to Japan after the Torch Handover Ceremony in Greece, on its departure at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Swimming Canada supports US after Americans call for Olympic postponement

Many of the events that determine who would compete in Tokyo have been postponed or cancelled

Swimming Canada says it backs its rivals from the United States when it comes to finding a solution for the Olympic Games.

Early Friday, the head of USA Swimming sent a letter urging the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to push the International Olympic Committee for a 12-month postponement of the Tokyo Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Swimming Canada’s CEO Ahmed El-Awadi followed with a statement, saying his organization shares many of the same concerns. Swimming Canada did not go as far in pushing for a postponement, but did say there are “serious issues” with asking athletes to prepare for the Olympics during a pandemic.

Both CEOs voiced their concerns after the IOC doubled down earlier in the week with the hope the Games can still open July 24 despite every other major sport in the world currently being suspended or cancelled.

“We are very much aligned with many of the points USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey has raised,” said El-Awadi.

READ MORE: Irregular migrants to be turned away at U.S.-Canada border: Trudeau

“Telling athletes to prepare for an Olympic Games during a global pandemic raises serious issues. We hold the opinions of our brothers and sisters at USA Swimming in high regard, and share many of the same concerns around health and safety. That includes the safety and well-being of our athletes — both physically and mentally — and the safety of the community at large.”?

El-Awadi says that each day that goes by without a decision from the IOC creates more stress and anxiety for the athletes, who are expected to keep training for an event that may not even happen.

“It is extremely difficult to maintain training without pools, which are closed across the country and in many countries worldwide,” said El-Awadi.

A growing number of Canadian athletes have already voiced their displeasure with Olympic leaders such as president Thomas Bach after regional Olympic officials on Wednesday rallied around the IOC and backed its stance on opening the Tokyo Games as scheduled.

Four-time Olympic hockey gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser, who is also on the IOC committee, said the IOC’s decision to stick with a July 24 start to the Games was “irresponsible given the state of humanity.”

As the IOC attempts to keep the 2020 Olympics on schedule, many of the events that determine who would compete in Tokyo have been postponed or cancelled.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Most Read