CKC Statement of Support – 2020 Tokyo Games: COVID-19

Posted By: Canoe Kayak Canada

MARCH 23, 2020 – (OTTAWA, ON) – Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) applauds the leadership of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee in taking decisive action to protect the health and wellbeing of our athletes and the community. We also fully support advocating for postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games until 2021.

“On behalf of our Team we want to applaud the leadership of COC in making this difficult but necessary decision to not attend the Olympic and Paralympic Games as currently scheduled,” said CKC Chief Technical Officer, Graham Barton. “It has been a stressful week for our athletes with the cancellation of Florida Training Camp and Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials but they have been extremely supportive of prioritizing health and safety.  The COC decision provides some much needed certainty and on behalf of CKC I would like to thank them for being leaders for us and the international sport community.”

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global outbreak rapidly evolves, we find ourselves in unprecedented times and our number one priority remains the health and wellbeing of our athletes, staff and entire paddling community.

The CKC leadership team will continue to work diligently to support our athletes during this difficult time of significant change.

As always, we are closely monitoring this global pandemic and will provide updates to the paddling community on a regular basis. We thank the community for their continued support.


CKC Athlete Quotes :

“This was no doubt a difficult decision for the COC but I fully support their decision for a fair and safe Olympic Games for all. We are humans first and athletes second. Although this is a difficult time, the fire and desire has not died. This situation has been a reminder for me of how grateful I am to do what we do. I am counting down the days until I can get on the start line with my favourite Canada jersey again.”

Katie Vincent, Sprint Canoe

“I personally support fully the decision from the COC. Health is the most important thing and right now, it is better to focus on making sure we take care of the pandemic before thinking of sending out athletes. I hope we will get the chance to race and represent our country at the Games but not before our people’s safety is taken care of.”

Laurence Vincent-Lapointe, Sprint Canoe

“I think it’s the right decision and I hope that more countries follow our lead. We all have a responsibility to help stop the spread of coronavirus right now. A delay of the Olympic Games is the responsible path and I understand that the IOC is currently exploring options. I’m confident that we will know more soon and in the meantime will be upgrading my home gym.”

Michael Tayler, Slalom Kayak (Qualified for Tokyo)

“I stand by the decision made by the COC. Of course it is heartbreaking for us but we need to do what is the best for our country and the rest of the world. I hope the IOC also stands behind this decision and postpones the Games to 2021. This will allow everyone to stay healthy and be able to prepare properly for the Games.

Florence Maheu, Slalom Kayak (Qualified for Tokyo)


Team Canada Press Release (March 22, 2020)

For questions or concerns, contact Canoe Kayak Canada CEO, Casey Wade. For media requests, please contact Communications Lead, Colleen Coderre.


About Canoe Kayak Canada

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada, one of Canada’s top performing summer sports with a total of 24 Olympic  medals, and a leader in the Paralympic movement. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization that includes an intricate network of clubs as well as provincial, territorial and divisional paddling associations. Elite National Team athletes proudly represent Canada at various competitions around the globe – most notably the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, ICF World Cups as well as Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championships. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.