Note: The full audio recording of the media conference call on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 with COC President Tricia Smith and CEO and Secretary General David Shoemaker can be downloaded here.
TORONTO/OTTAWA (March 24, 2020) – The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) issued the following statement on Tuesday in reaction to the conclusion made by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach, and Japanese Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo, that the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020:
The COC and CPC would like to thank President Thomas Bach, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee for this decision which continues to show their commitment to safeguarding the health and safety of athletes and the world community.
We also renew our commitment to work with the IOC, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring.
With this postponement, the IOC has given Tokyo hopefuls worldwide the clarity they need about the immediate future, so we can all concentrate on our collective health and wellbeing and take all necessary steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
We are confident that when the time comes, the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee will deliver a world-class Games that celebrates the Olympic and Paralympic values and unites and inspires the world. The Olympic and Paralympic Games have long been a symbol of hope and Tokyo 2020 will be a celebration of all that we now seek to overcome. There may be no better way to move on from this most difficult time than seeing the world brought together through sport the way only a Games can.
We are incredibly proud of the leadership and resilience that our athletes, National Sport Organizations, partners and the Canadian sport community have demonstrated in these unprecedented times. While postponement comes with its own set of challenges, Team Canada will rise to the challenge to showcase our very best on the international stage.