Canada confronts Tokyo 2020 rumors
Published on January 22nd, 2021
(January 22, 2021) – It has been a dizzying 24 hours in the Olympic news cycle, with thousands of athletes, coaches, government officials and reporters trying to sift through what’s fact and what’s fiction.
Are the Games going forward like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) insists? Or are they being cancelled?
Inside her Toronto home, Marnie McBean, Canada’s chef de mission for Tokyo, was doing her best to track down information today about a published report suggesting the Japanese government wants to cancel the Games. Her phone immediately started lighting up.
“The story was first flagged to me by an athlete. I looked at the article. When you take the time to look at the original article, there was conjecture. It was someone guessing,” McBean told CBC Sports.
McBean, a three-time Olympic champion rower, went into full information-gathering mode all while trying to calm the nerves of Canadian athletes who were tweeting and texting and phoning, fearful their Olympic dreams were dashed.
“I wanted to make sure we were getting to athletes before they started going down a rabbit hole of fear, doubt, or sadness.” McBean said. “I knew that we wanted to and needed to get to it quickly because athletes were picking up on this. People are on frayed nerves.”
Hours after the Times of London story, Canadian Olympic Committee CEO David Shoemaker took to Twitter to issue a statement.
The committee “has confidence that the Games can be staged safely and successfully given what has been learned in sport over the last several months and the emphasis the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee have placed on COVID-19 countermeasures,” Shoemaker wrote on Twitter.
McBean said their swift action and proactive approach was crucial during those valuable hours after the initial report.
“I was really proud of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s response to confirm what we knew — that the Games are still very much happening.” – Full report
Tokyo Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021