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

Deadline passes for ‘unattractive’ Port Alberni building

Squash and Billiards Club on Third Avenue has been under construction for several years

Teachers in Port Alberni show the love for their students

Virtual message meant to give families hope in uncertain times

Port Alberni’s Judy Plater works magic with a chainsaw

Bald eagle carving unveiled at Alberni Valley Golf Club

EDITORIAL: Port Alberni’s loud thanks well deserved

Stay at home, stay the course so we can beat coronavirus

ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre looking for artists to exhibit in 2021

Gallery is currently closed due to COVID-19 concerns

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘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

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Most Read