Canada Will Not Send Teams to Tokyo in 2020

TORONTO — The Canadian Olympic Committee said it would not send athletes to the Tokyo Games this summer and called for them to be postponed for a year, becoming the first country to threaten such a move in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Through a joint statement Sunday evening with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, it said it was willing to help the International Olympic Committee search for alternatives, but that “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,” they added.

Canada sent 314 athletes, who combined to win 22 medals, to the Rio Games in 2016.

Some of its most notable performers included the swimmer Penny Oleksiak and the sprinter Andre De Grasse.

Canada joins a number of countries — including Norway, Brazil and Slovenia — that have pressed the I.O.C. on a possible postponement. But none had flat-out said they would not go if the Games started when they were scheduled to start, on July 24.

The I.O.C. said on Sunday that it would take up to four weeks to consider alternatives, which include postponement. It has taken the possibility of canceling the Games off the table for now.

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