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

Summerland’s April 1 snow measurements above normal

Measurements taken at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake

COLUMN: Responding with the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy

Support available for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

EDITORIAL: Are you a virus jerk? Take our short quiz to find out

Are you a virus jerk? Take this short quiz to learn the… Continue reading

South Okanagan piper to perform for livestreamed memorials

Penticton funeral home to show performances every Friday at 4:30 p.m.

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

Okanagan College student designs map tracking spread of COVID-19 in B.C.

Sean Heddle says fighting complacency and misinformation is important

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

Okanagan Skaha School Board does not anticipate closures

School district budget tight as a result of declining enrolment

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

Demand doubles at Revelstoke food bank

Community Connections concerned whether they can meet increasing need

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Most Read