Following the lead of the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee, Swimming Canada has announced the cancellation of all summer 2020 national events due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes the Canadian Masters Swimming Championships (May 22-24, Etobicoke, Ont.), Canadian Junior Championships (July 22-27, Montreal), and Canadian Swimming Championships (Aug. 6-9, Edmonton).
After announcing the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials, presented by Bell, Swimming Canada had been evaluating contingency plans for a potential late June Trials. In light of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, those plans are no longer necessary and the Trials remain suspended until new timing can be determined.
“We would like to thank the COC, CPC, IOC and IPC for their leadership in these difficult times. We understand that postponing the Games was an incredibly difficult decision, but one that needed to be made for the safety of all, therefore we are following suit with our national events,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi.
The previously announced moratorium on all sanctioned competitions continues through April 30. Should provincial health authorities allow recreation facilities to reopen, Provincial Sections may resume local, regional, and/or provincial swimming activities at their discretion.
Pending further details on the rescheduling of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Swimming Canada’s 2021 national events calendar is being assessed, and 2021 national events will be confirmed at a later date.
“The world needs healing. It takes time. The sun will rise again for the most celebrated Games, and for our Canadian championships. The athletes will awe us with their amazing talents once more. The world just needs some time to heal. Once the storm is over, we will swim again,” El-Awadi said.
Meanwhile, the Swimming Canada executive team and staff, along with 1976 Olympic medallist and President Cheryl Gibson, held a videoconference Wednesday for hundreds of swimmers, coaches, integrated support team staff, Provincial Section representatives, and representatives from partners such as COC, CPC, Own the Podium and the CSCTA. High Performance Director John Atkinson instructed athletes to train at home, on their own, under the advice of their coaches and/or other qualified experts.
“We all have a responsibility to ensure we do our part in flattening the curve and follow the guideline of social distancing,” Atkinson said, encouraging the swimming community to follow all government mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Atkinson also announced that all scheduled national camps and activities will be postponed until at least the fall. Existing national team selection and nomination criteria will be withdrawn and reviewed, then reworked and posted as applicable once more detail on the international competition calendar is known. Athletes carded under Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program will continue to receive funding, however, adjustments will need to be made for 2020-21.