About 300 athletes have already been nominated to the Canadian delegation for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, but there are still dozens who are still seeking to qualify by setting certain standards. The imposition of quarantines in Canada has certainly complicated matters, but the situation appears to have been resolved on Friday.
Indeed, the Minister of Immigration of Canada, Marco Mendicino, announced a series of measures, under an exemption of national interest, which will allow the athletes to train during their quarantine, on their return to the country.
All athletes and staff will be screened upon arrival before being sent to government-authorized accommodation pending their results. If these prove to be negative, the athletes will be confined in “a modified quarantine bubble, where they are limited to their accommodation and their training facilities,” the minister announced in a press release.
Four of these bubbles will be implemented across Canada. Since Minister Mendicino’s review was carried out in the company of public health representatives from Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, we can believe that these provinces will be where they will be. created.
Note that the national interest exemption can be modified or withdrawn at any time.
“Currently, the issues of qualifications and quarantines are what federations and our Canadian athletes are still juggling,” summarized Eric Myles, head of sports for the Canadian Olympic Committee, met Thursday by the QMI Agency on the sidelines of the appointment of the Canadian artistic gymnastics team for the Tokyo Games. Looks like the finish line is still moving a bit. There are so many variables in all of this. For example, if a group has qualifications in Europe, it cannot come back and have a two-week quarantine imposed … It is extremely problematic. You can’t afford, about a month before the Games, to be inactive for two weeks. ”
In the current context, many athletes and many teams from Canada have decided to stay in Europe, after qualifying, to be able to continue training while waiting for the next Games.
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to take place on July 23. Isn’t it a bit late to resolve this situation surrounding mandatory quarantines? The frustration is understandable for the athletes, since the players of the Montreal Canadiens for their part obtained an exemption for the third round of the National Hockey League playoffs.
“Let’s use the situation to speed things up,” said Myles, who had preferred to be optimistic. I am not here to judge. I want us to resolve our situation, I want us to resolve this for our athletes. And no, it’s not too late, because the Winter Olympics are coming up in 2022 and some athletes need that to be sorted out. If we take [le skieur acrobatique] Mikaël Kingsbury, he made the choice not to go to a camp to avoid a third quarantine in a few months and for these athletes who are aiming for the Winter Games, it is just as important. “