Due to the risks of the Covid-19 pandemic and the inability to hold a phenomenal event, the 2021 Canada Summer Games in Niagara have been suspended until 2022.
On Wednesday, the Canada Games Council (CGC) and Niagara Host Society announced the decision after discussion with the Niagara Region in southern Ontario as well as the provincial and federal governments.
Originally planned for August of next year in Niagara, the Canada Games has been delayed to the summer of 2022.
The Canada Games is held every two years, alternating between summer and winter. It is Canada’s marquee multi-sports event for up-and-coming athletes. The Niagara version has more than 5,000 competitors and 4,000 volunteers to participate in.
Several sports have managed to return in the country. The National Hockey League (NHL) reconvened in bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton with the Stanley Cup final taking place in the Alberta capital. The three MLS teams of Canada are playing in their home cities, with the majority of matches being held without spectators.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Elite Basketball League condensed its tournament into a two-week version with no fans in St. Catharines, Ontario. And the Canadian Premier League is also holding its season in Charlottetown.
However, none of these events drew the number of athletes that the Canada Games does.
Dan Wilcock, the CGC’s president and CEO, said that they analyzed numerous options but the health and safety risks were too high.
Athletes are under different COVID-19 restrictions that depend on provincial governments. Therefore, an athlete in one province may not have the same access to training facilities as the others in another. Wilcock added that it is important to provide a fair Games for all competitors .
However, no dates have been set for the 2022 Niagara Games.
The first Canada Games was held in 1967 in Quebec. Winnipeg was the site of the 2017 Canada Summer Games and Red Deer, Alta., hosted the last Winter Games in 2019.