The organizations are calling to postpone the Games for one year and say they are backed by their athletes’ commissions, national sports organizations and the Canadian government in the decision.
“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,” the COC and CPC statement read. “This is not solely about athlete health — it is about public health.”
The coronavirus threat and risks make for an unsafe environment for athletes, their families and the broader Canadian community, the release said.
“We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport,” the release said.
The Australian Olympic Committee also said Sunday that Australian athletes should prepare for the Games to take place in summer of 2021.
IOC says its not canceling the Olympics
The IOC board said it is considering several options to deal with the ongoing outbreak, including modifying plans to allow the 2020 Tokyo Games to begin on schedule on July 24 or changing the start date for the Games.
The IOC executive board ruled out canceling the Games, saying it would “destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes” and all those who support them, according to a letter to athletes from IOC President Thomas Bach.
The Canadian statement thanked the IOC for saying it would not canceling the games, saying the IOC appreciates the “the importance of accelerating its decision-making regarding a possible postponement.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that a decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics may be needed if the Games cannot be held in a complete form.
Abe made the remark during a parliamentary session Monday after the IOC announced Sunday that the group has decided to step up scenario-planning for the 2020 Tokyo Games in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
IOC faces more pressure to postpone games
The heads of USA Swimming and USA Track and Field both called for the Olympics to be postponed to 2021 over the weekend.
CNN’s Kevin Dotson, Emiko Jozuka and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.