Charles Philibert-Thiboutot was inhabited by mixed feelings when he learned of the decision of the canadian olympic Committee to not send athletes if the olympic Games in Tokyo take place this summer as planned.
“I am very surprised of the decision of the COC, but I am relieved, stressed the director of athletes Athletics Canada. We (different federations) have had discussions with the COC on the eve of their announcement, and I was surprised that the dominoes fell into place so quickly. I love to express myself and I am very glad that the voice of athletes has been listened to.”
“The COC has demonstrated that he has at heart the well-being and the health of athletes, in contrast to the international olympic Committee (IOC) who does not see that the financial interests of pursuing the specialist of the half-distance which had reached the semi-finals at the olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. I am proud of our country which gives a lot of value to the health of athletes. The decision of the COC is going to weigh a lot on other countries and their decision will start a movement. I hope that this decision will be an agent of change. Athletes may not be considered of the flesh to block forever.”
Philibert-Thiboutot believes that the IOC has used strategy by saying, Saturday, that the fate of the olympic Games will be known only in four weeks. “It is a period long enough to ensure that the national committees are threatening not to participate in the Games or withdraw as Canada had done, he explained. This threat of national committees would be a good reason to cancel the Games and the IOC might as well collect the insurance. Their decision to wait four weeks has been driven by money and not the health of the athletes. The IOC was concerned that the COVID-19 is not of sufficient force to justify to be reimbursed by insurance. With the boycott of countries, it changes the data and the IOC may touch the expected premium.”
Philibert-Thiboutot is relieved of the decision of the COC. “This made no sense to hold an international event in these terms and conditions of a pandemic. Countries would have been able to get out in the summer, but other could have been the worst of the crisis. It does not look well in the United States. Hold the Games could only create a second wave of the virus. The IOC was reckless, but the social pressure will not provide them the choice. It takes a lot of people who jappent to make them move.”
Bothered by injuries for the past two years, Philibert-Thiboutot believes that the deferral of the olympic Games will benefit him on a personal level. “I have suffered several misfortunes
and I kept coming back too quickly, he mentioned. It was a vicious circle. I will now be able to take my time and have a good base instead of trying to make sparks fly on the track. Instead of a camp intensive in the United States, I’m going to train myself to Quebec and spend time with my wife.”
“I am proud that Canada has taken the initiative.”
Quadruple olympic medalist Gaétan Boucher welcomes the decision of the canadian olympic Committee (COC) not to send athletes to the Games to Tokyo if they take place in 2020.
“This is a good decision that should be taken, at a given time, summed up the former speed skater and long track that has won a medal at the Games in Lake Placid in 1980, and three others in Sarajevo in 1984. The canadian olympic Committee has done well not to wait for the decision of the international Committee. Other countries will follow Canada.”
“I am proud that Canada has taken the initiative to continue a Butcher. It changes what, wait another four weeks. It forces athletes to continue to train while the chances that the Games take place are very low. The situation is deteriorating day by day. I am aware that there are serious issues political and financial.”
If he believes that the COC has taken a good decision, Boucher has a thought for some of the athletes who will be penalized more harshly. “It is unfortunate for the older athletes the end of their career or others for whom this was the only opportunity to participate in the olympics, he said. As for the athletes, which will continue until 2021, they will not lose everything. The boycott of the summer olympic Games of 1980 in Moscow had done wrong to many athletes. If the Games of Sarajevo had taken place four years later, they would have been cancelled due to the war, which raged in the former Yugoslavia. There was also the attacks at the Munich Games in 1972. After the boycott of 1980, the 1984 Games in Los Angeles had also been affected due to the absence of some countries, including the USSR.”
“This is exceptional because the entire world population is affected, add a Butcher who looks at each day the press point of the prime minister François Legault. It goes beyond the sport and you don’t have the choice to be more careful. We consider more athletes, even if the consequences are less severe if they are infected with the virus because they are in good physical condition. There is so much money in the sport that you have to protect the athletes.”