Ontario Lockdown Poses Potential Threat To Upcoming Canadian Olympic Trials


According to a report from CTV news, the province of Ontario has announced a four-week-long stay-at-home order that will begin on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

CBC News has reported that the province announced 3,215 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, which marks the highest single-day number since January 17, 2021. The province has been trending upwards all week, having reported 2,938 infections on Monday, the 5th, and 3,065 infections on Tuesday, the 6th. Also according to the CBC, those numbers have caused the 7-day average of coronavirus cases to jump from 2,316 one week ago to 2,987 as of April 7, 2021.

In addition to rising cases, the province of Ontario has faced criticism for its vaccination rollout, according to a report from CP24. Many critics in the province have suggested that poor communication regarding the province’s vaccination plans has left many people confused. John Greenburg, a professor of crisis communications at the University of Carleton in Ottawa went on record saying that “There do not appear to be any core principles guiding the provincial response and it’s not clear from one day to the next who is in charge, “Is it the premier, the chief medical officer of health, general Hillier, or the regional health units?”

According to current stats from the Covid-19 Tracker Canada, 2,726,221 doses of the vaccines had been administered as of Wednesday, April 7 at 9:05 am CST. That number accounts for 67.8% of the 4,022,875 vaccines that have been delivered to the province. With the 2,726,221 that have been administered, 16.3% of the population of Ontario have received at least one dose.

The month-long lockdown is expected to look similar to the province’s second major lockdown which was put in place in January of 2021. During the second lockdown, high-performance athletes in the province were permitted to continue training while following strict COVID-19 protocols.

Dave Ling, head coach of the Newmarket Stingrays which is located just north of Toronto, shared his concerns over the implications of the stay-at-home order, specifically as they relate to the upcoming Canadian Olympic Trials which are set to be held in Toronto from May 24th to the 28th.

Ling suggests that while the currently proposed month-long lockdown will be over by the 6th of May, an 18-day turnaround to have athletes travel from around the country and race at Trials seems unlikely. While Ontario doesn’t require those arriving from other Canadian provinces to isolate, it is unclear whether the meet, which will bring together more than 100 athletes from around the country onto the same pool deck, will be permitted to occur by the provincial government on the heels of this lockdown.

In the wake of the announcement of the stay-at-home order by the Ontario provincial government, Swimming Canada has yet to release a statement or contingency plan relating to the Trials.

Canada’s Olympic selection meet has already been re-scheduled, having been pushed from the originally scheduled dates of April 7-11, 2021. In addition to pushing the meet to May, the meet is also a timed final-only meet and entries have been limited to 20 swimmers for each event. Further, they have already named 6 athletes to the Olympic team in the form of Kylie Masse (100/200 backstroke), Maggie MacNeil (100 butterfly) Sydney Pickrem – (200 breaststroke, 200/400 IM) Penny Oleksiak (200 freestyle), Taylor Ruck (100 freestyle), and Markus Thormeyer (200 backstroke). In addition to the meet in May, Swimming Canada also added an additional qualifier in June for those who miss out on qualification at the first meet to get a second shot at getting nominated to the team.





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