As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and public health concerns, next summer’s Canada Summer Games slated for August, 2021 in Ontario’s Niagara Region have been postponed until 2022.
Held every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games are the country’s marquee event for amateur sport. More than 5,000 participants and 4,000 volunteers are expected to take part in Canada's largest multi-sport event in the Niagara Region.
Depending on the sport, athletes could be impacted depending on their age eligibility in the 12-month span, said Troy Croft of Sport Newfoundland and Labrador.
In other words, an athlete could age out of his/her particular sport during the 12 month period between this summer and next., “unless the sports adjust their age limits,” Croft said.
“Postponing the Games certainly wasn’t an easy decision, nor one that we took lightly, but we felt it was the right choice to make,” said Doug Hamilton, chairman of the 2021 Canada Games Host Society. “In all likelihood, moving ahead with the Canada Summer Games in 2021 would have prevented us from hosting the Games’ sport competitions and cultural events in the way that they were originally envisioned. By delaying the Games to the summer of 2022, we hope to give Games participants a greater opportunity to maximize their experience, while also ensuring that Niagara can realize the full potential of hosting Canada's largest multi-sport event.”
Croft said the decision to postpone was not a surprise to many. A lot of people close to the Games were anticipating this.
“And what we are seeing now, because of COVID-19, is a lot of athletes cannot train,” Croft said. “We’re seeing that with the Aquarena (and its closure). Our swimmers cannot train.”
Dates for the 2022 Games have not yet been decided.