Statement from Minister of Canadian Heritage Following the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee’s Decision to Postpone Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Due to COVID-19 Pandemic


OTTAWA, March 24, 2020

On behalf of all Canadians, I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the government of Japan, Tokyo 2020 organizers, International Olympic Committee (IOC), and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in organizing the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Today, the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee decided to postpone the games, amid growing health concerns due to COVID-19. It is a difficult decision, but the right one. The health and safety of our athletes, coaches and support staff remain our priority.

Canada stands in solidarity with the international sport community and the people of Japan in particular. The Government of Canada looks forward to the games taking place in Japan in the future. Tokyo is a world-class city and exemplary host with a proven track record of hosting major international sporting events.

With the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 games, and with so much uncertainly around the world, we know that this is a particularly difficult period for athletes and sports organizations, among many others. The Department of Canadian Heritage, through Sport Canada, would like to reaffirm our government’s support for all the people affected, directly or indirectly, by COVID-19 virus.

We remain fully supportive of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) as they continue to work closely with national and international sport communities and public health officials to protect the health of Canadian athletes, their families and their communities.

The Government of Canada would like to thank the COC and CPC for their hard work and leadership in the sport movement. We will continue to work with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees and all sport organizations to support Canadian athletes during this difficult time.

Associated Links

Joint Statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee

COC and CPC thank IOC for its decision to postpone Games to 2021

Information for Canadian Heritage grants and contributions recipients related to COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update


For more information (media only), please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Attachée de presse
Cabinet du ministre du Patrimoine canadien

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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