Ottawa athletes support Canada's refusal to attend Tokyo Games
OTTAWA -- Some of Ottawa's top Olympians are expressing support for Canada's decision not to send athletes to the Tokyo Games unless they are postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wrestler Erica Wiebe, who won a gold medal at the Rio Games in 2016 and qualified for Tokyo last weekend, said she's 'heartbroken' by the decision but believes it's the right move.
"I believe we are standing on the right side of history," the Stittsville native said in a thread on Twitter. "I hope the IOC will do the right thing and postpone the @Olympics until 2021."
The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee issued joint statement Sunday evening saying they refuse to send athletes to Tokyo unless the Games are pushed back.
Canada is the first country to issue such a statement.
Runner Melissa Bishop said she at first reacted with tears reading the COC’s announcement, and her biggest fear is that the International Olympic Committee will proceed with the games without Team Canada.
“BUT this is far bigger than our dreams right now,” she added. This is far bigger than the Olympics. I do stand by the COC and CPC’s decision, and hope that the IOC will also stand up for what is right. We must fight for humanity right now.”
Bishop, a native of Eganville, Ont., competed at the 2012 and 2016 Games.
Ottawa native Gaby Dabrowski, the first Canadian woman to ever win a senior Grand Slam tennis title, also tweeted that she supports the decision.
"Competing in the Olympics is my #1 goal but I fully support this decision and I commend our leadership for taking a stand," she said. "I hope more nations follow suit."
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start July 24.