Olympic and Paralympic expert available to comment on Canada and 2020 Tokyo Games

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) announced today that Canadian athletes will not be sent to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic if they go on as scheduled in July.

Laura Misener

Laura Misener

Laura Misener, Director of Western University’s School of Kinesiology, is available to media for comment.

An executive member of Western’s renowned International Centre for Olympic Studies, Misener is an expert on social impact of sport and events, disability in sport and Paralympic, physical activity, and health promotion.

“The Olympics should only proceed if there is sufficient evidence to suggest that adequate preventative, containment, and mitigation measures can be put in place so as to adequately protect the thousands athletes and their entourage, the hundreds of thousands of spectators, and the broader public from the general spread of the pandemic,” says Misener.

“Clearly the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees did not feel there was sufficient cause to believe that the teams could be protected. It would have been a very difficult decision for the leaders of the COC and CPC to make given the enormous amount of time and effort from athletes, but Canada has often been at the forefront of making bold, difficult decisions about the rights and protection of athletes.”

Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.

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