Canada and Australia are the first Countries to pull out of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games over concerns for Athletes’safety with the outbreak of Coronavirus across the globe.
The International Olympic Committee has been in consultation with Japan about possibly postponing the Games, which is scheduled to start in July.
However, host nation Japan are adamant the Games will go on as scheduled much to the consternation of many Countries and Athletes, who have criticized the Asian country.
Canada followed up the announcement of withdrawing from the games with a tweet on Sunday:
More than a performance, a record, or a medal. It’s about being part of something bigger. #TeamCanada
More than a performance, a record, or a medal.
— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) March 23, 2020
“While we recognise the inherent complexities around a postponement,” the Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement, “nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community.”
In its announcement of its decision, meanwhile, the Australian Olympic Committee said: “It’s clear the Games can’t be held in July.”The Island nation itself has recorded 1046 cases with 41 confirmed deaths.
On Monday though, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō reacted to the previous day’s announcement by the International Olympic Committee by saying that if it is difficult to hold the events as planned, there would be no choice but to postpone them. It is the first time he has mentioned accepting a postponement.
Note: In its latest statement on the pandemic, the IOC said the coronavirus pandemic has cast a shadow over prospects for holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as scheduled, with some suggesting the Games should be postponed or cancelled.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Olympic Committee is yet to make a decision, although all sporting activities in the Country have been postponed indefinitely.
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