Canada and Australia Pull Out of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Both countries announced they will not send athletes if the Olympics are held this summer

Tokyo Olympics
NBC is set to broadcast the Tokyo Olympics. What happens if they're canceled?
Cesar I. Martins/Creative Commons
By Evan Bleier / March 23, 2020 9:35 am

In separate statements released on Sunday night, Canada and Australia both said they will not send Olympic or Paralympic athletes to the Games if they’re held in Tokyo this summer.

National Olympic committees in Brazil and Slovenia have also called for a postponement of the Tokyo Games until 2021.

That puts added pressure on the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Tokyo Olympics until 2021, a move the governing body is already considering. The IOC has said it will make a decision about the status of the Games in the next four weeks.

On Sunday, IOC president Thomas Bach sent a letter to athletes explaining the decision. “I know that this unprecedented situation leaves many of your questions open,” he wrote. “I also know that this rational approach may not be in line with the emotions many of you have to go through.”

Sarah Hirshland, the CEO of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, has yet to call on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Games. “We know the difficult obstacles ahead and we are all appreciative that the IOC has heard our concerns and needs, and is working to address them as quickly as possible,” she said in a statement released Sunday.

U.S. Swimming and U.S. Track and Field — two of the three top-tier Summer Games sports — have already called on U.S. Olympic officials to push for a postponement of the Games until 2021.

As of now, the 2020 Tokyo Games are set to begin on July 24.

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