Friday, February 23, 2024

Despite Omicron, COC remains on track for Beijing

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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However, COC CEO David Shoemaker admits there are some concerns.

we are worried. But at the same time, we are in a learning mode, as was the case with the Tokyo Games in 2020. We are keen on the advice of our Chief Medical Officer and his network of experts. We are optimistic that the Games can be held in a safe manner. But we assess the situation every day.

The Omicron variant has already caused many headaches in sports federations and athletes.

American figure skater Michaela Shiffrin virus touched You will miss the pre-Olympic events.

the The World Junior Hockey Championship had to be cancelled, in Alberta, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases among young hockey players.

No less than fourteen members of the Canadian bobsleigh team They are in isolation in Latvia Because of the positive results.

the Canadian Figure Skating Championships It will be held without an audience next week as a precaution.

But Shoemaker stresses that he has not heard any rumors of a possible postponement of the Beijing Olympics.

We haven’t discussed with the IOC about the postponement, but as we talk a lot with other countries that participate in winter sports, the issue will be raised.

Other sports organizations across the country are reassuring themselves with security measures in place, such as immunizations and screening tests.

I put a lot of hope in risk mitigation plans, via email Canadian Alpine President, Therese Bryson. Right now, we’re working on putting these measures into place, rather than asking for games to be postponed.

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However, Bryson remains concerned about periods of isolation that may await an athlete who has been diagnosed positive once he arrives in China, which could prevent him from participating in a competition or returning home. She is also concerned about the consequences of these scenarios for the mental health of athletes.

Next month will be crucial

Shoemaker says the Canadian Olympic Committee’s biggest challenge isn’t the safety of the athletes once in Beijing, but the feats that have to be done to perfection just to get there.

« There is consensus that the safest place on the planet to protect yourself from the Omicron variant in February will be the Beijing Olympic Bubble. »

Quote from David Shoemaker, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee

The real challenge for us in the next 30 days will be to ensure that Canadian participants get to Beijing without contracting the virus, and therefore get a negative result once they get there.

So Shoemaker is adamant that COC remains committed to its mission of assembling a full squad for the 2022 Winter Games.

We will do everything we can to bring the Canadian team to Beijing if we get the go-ahead from our medical team., Concludes.

The Beijing Games are scheduled to begin in less than five weeks.

With information from CBC’s Scott Russell Sports

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