As a member of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, we are defined here in British Columbia by our commitment to Powering Performance and Inspiring Excellence. As part of that, we certainly put the good health and safety of Canada’s athletes, coaches, sport scientists, employees, sport partners, community supporters, and everyone in the larger sport community first and foremost in everything we do.
That is why we fully embrace the decision of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) to not send Canadian teams to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer in Japan. We also strongly support the urgent call to postpone the Summer Games by one year, one made Sunday, March 22nd, by the COC and CPC to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
Our position is galvanized by the concerns for not just athlete health, but for public health and safety in the current circumstances – in which our first priority as part of the global community must be to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
Our hearts go out to Canada’s athletes and coaches, and our entire team of sport scientists, athlete service providers and other support staff, along with our partner national sport federations and provincial sport organizations, all of whom have worked so hard for years to prepare for the honour of representing Canada at the Olympics or for the privilege of supporting Canada’s athletes and coaches on their high performance journey. We understand and share in your disappointment.
However, we echo the words of the COC and CPC: With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is simply not only unsafe for Canada’s athletes to continue training towards these Games, it is diametrically opposed to the public health guidelines that we urge all Canadians to follow. It is an absolute necessity to protect our nation’s athletes, their families and support networks, along with everyone in the Canadian community.
As we join together and unite to fight the spread of COVID-19, we will keep you updated on all developments in the weeks to come. We will work with all our partners and stakeholders – and most importantly Canada’s talented athletes, coaches, sport scientists and our entire team — to strive for a return to normalcy. We will continue to apply the highest standards of excellence to our operations at all levels, including of course the comprehensive athlete services that we’re so proud of at our Canadian Sport Institute Pacific campuses in Victoria, Vancouver and Whistler.
On behalf of all of us at Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, thank you for your ongoing support and understanding, and of course the confidence you place in all of us as we continue to dedicate ourselves to providing Canadian athletes with the best possible environment in which to “Own the Podium” and inspire excellence at all levels of Canadian society.
From our CSI Pacific family to yours, stay healthy, stay strong and stay vigilant. We look forward to working with you to help all of us get through these challenging and unprecedented times. More than anything, we will stand by you every step of the way to what we believe will be the best possible outcome and a real reason to celebrate better days ahead: The Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in the summer of 2021.
Wendy Pattenden, President & Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Sport Institute Pacific