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Sean McColl, Lead World Championship 2019 at Hachioji in Japan
Photo by Eddie Fowke / IFSC
Canada's Alannah Yip qualifies for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Photo by IFSC
Alannah Yip, Canada climbing towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification
Photo by IFSC
Sean McColl competing in the Bouldering World Cup 2019 at Vail
Photo by Daniel Gajda / IFSC

Canada will not send athletes to Olympic Games in summer 2020, including Sean McColl, Alannah Yip

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The Canadian Olympic Committee has announced it will not send athletes to the Olympic Games in summer 2020 due to the risks associated with the coronavirus outbreak. Over 300 Team Canada athletes have qualified for Tokyo 2020 including Sean McColl and Alannah Yip.

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee Olympic committee (CPC) have announced they will not send athletes to the Olympic Games in summer 2020 due to the risks associated the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The announcement directly affects all athletes qualified for Tokyo 2020, including Sean McColl and Alannah Yip who had both earned a spot for Sport Climbing’s Olympic debut.



The International Olympic Committee and Japanese government have been facing mounting pressure in recent weeks amid the Covid-19 pandemic to postpone the Games to a later date, either in 2020 or 2021, and the IOC has now given itself just four weeks to make a decision. While cancellation has always been ruled out categorically, the IOC has now admitted that delaying the start may now be an option.



In its statement yesterday Team Canada explained "While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community.  This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health. With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow."

Sean McColl had qualified for the Olympics on the first occasion in at Hachioji in Japan last year, stated on Instagram "I am once again honoured to call myself Canadian, based on the leadership of the Canadian Olympic Committee (@teamcanada) together with their Athletes’ Commission in putting the health and safety of the country as a whole at the forefront of their call to postpone The Games. I stand in solidarity with my country, and I hope the IOC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee will make the responsible decision to postpone The Games."

Yip, who qualified just last month, stated "I am proud to be from a country that is being a leader by putting the health and safety of the global community above all else. Thank you @teamcanada for doing the right thing in this time of global crisis. I hope that the IOC will postpone the Games because this pandemic is bigger than sport."


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