A week ago 2016 Rio Olympic Champion Erica Wiebe booked “punched her ticket to Tokyo”. But now after Canada announced that it will pull out of the Tokyo Olympics, she is “heartbroken”. Wieba had secured the Olympic berth after winning gold at Pan-American Olympic Qualifiers. But in an unprecedented move, Canada on Monday announced that it will not send its athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic.
The news is “surreal” for Wieba who was hoping to repeat her 2016 Olympic performance at Tokyo. The Canadian took to Instagram and shared her feelings with her fans.
“It’s the greatest privilege in the world to play for Team Canada. I get to do what I love and represent a country that stands for integrity, passion, and is a true leader on and off the field of play. I have worn the maple leaf with pride for the past 10+ years. I have stood on the Olympic podium and sang Oh Canada through tears. And I want to do it again,” she wrote.
“And so in this moment I am heartbroken. The news that Canada will not send athletes to the 2020 Olympic Games is surreal. Only a week ago I officially punched my ticket to Tokyo and that opportunity could be taken from me”
Wieba, however, welcomed the decision considering the current scenario. “But this is way bigger than me. This is way bigger than sport”.
She echoed opinions of many fellow sportsperson “that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should postpone the Olympic Games until 2021”.
“I hope they choose this opportunity to stand on the right side of history and put humanity first. The most critical thing right now is protecting our community’s health and safety. We must focus our efforts globally on managing this crisis and getting through it together,” she added.
Dick Pound, IOC member, on Monday told USA Today Sport that the Tokyo-bound extravaganza will be deferred amid COVID-19 pandemic. An official announcement is however yet to be made. IOC President Thomas Bach said that they will issue a communique on postponement by mid-April.